Duke’s Stunning Victory Over No. 1 Houston Marred by Star Player Jamal Shead’s Absence

318

The Duke Blue Devils defeated the top-seeded Houston Cougars 54-51 in a thrilling Sweet 16 encounter, with Jamal Shead’s absence playing a major role in the loss.

Due to a significant ankle sprain, Shead had to leave the court and go to the locker room for assessment in the first half, which dramatically changed the course of the game. Houston opened up play against Duke with a big lead despite his absence.

In the interim, though, the Blue Devils managed to reduce the deficit and take a 23-22 lead. Duke’s defense proved to be too strong for Houston, despite their heroic second-half effort.

While Duke took advantage of crucial chances to keep their lead, the Cougars found it difficult to establish a rhythm offensively. Houston made a last-ditch effort to pull away, but eventually failed, and Duke prevailed.

Duke’s Defensive Victory

duke's-stunning-victory-over-no.-1-houston-marred-by-star-player-jamal-shead's-absence
The Duke Blue Devils defeated the top-seeded Houston Cougars 54-51 in a thrilling Sweet 16 encounter, with Jamal Shead’s absence playing a major role in the loss.

The Cougars were really saddened by Shead’s absence because he was a key player all season long, averaging 13.2 points and 6.4 assists per game. His early exit from the game surely upset Houston’s strategy and made it difficult for them to get back into the game.

Houston gave it their best shot, but in the end, Duke’s tenacity and defensive skills earned them a berth in the Elite Eight for the second time in three years. With 16 points and nine rebounds, Kyle Filipowski led the way for Duke, and Jeremy Roach chipped in with 14 points to help the Blue Devils win.

Houston may be proud of their incredible season, which saw them win the Big 12 regular-season championship and guarantee a top seed in the NCAA tournament, despite the sad result.

As a result of Shead’s injury, the Cougars will attempt to learn from this setback and improve in the upcoming campaigns.

Comment via Facebook

Corrections: If you are aware of an inaccuracy or would like to report a correction, we would like to know about it. Please consider sending an email to [email protected] and cite any sources if available. Thank you. (Policy)