DURHAM, N.C. — Seems, even Zion Williamson can have an off evening.
For all of the unlikely twists for Duke in a flat first half towards Hartford, nothing provided fairly as large a shock as Williamson lacking two dunks. The Duke freshman has stolen headlines and crammed up spotlight reels by means of the Blue Devils’ first eight video games of the season with one monster dunk after one other, however Wednesday was … somewhat off.
“I do not know what was happening with me,” stated Williamson, who was Eight-of-14 from the ground with 18 factors within the 84-54 win. “I’ve by no means missed dunks like that, not even messing round. It will get very irritating. However I am unable to play for myself.”
Amid a lackluster first half when few Duke photographs fell and transition buckets had been at a premium, Williamson’s first miss — hauling in a move from Alex O’Connell, then banging the ball off the entrance of the rim — generated the same astonishment from the gang that lots of his eye-popping makes have achieved. They had been merely not used to seeing such issues.
Fact is, Williamson wasn’t used to it, both, and the frustration went nicely past the dunks through the first half.
Duke mustered simply 33 factors towards Hartford earlier than the break, a season low. From past the arc, the Blue Devils shot simply 19 p.c (5-of-26) for the sport. And within the early going, a stagnant defensive effort meant few transition alternatives.
“Usually we shoot a greater share, and our protection by no means gave our offense power,” coach Mike Krzyzewski stated. “In transition, we’re dynamite. Each every so often in half courtroom, you’ll be able to miss photographs. However in transition, we’ll rating.”
That tide turned within the ultimate 15 minutes of motion, as Duke pulled away and RJ Barrett and Williamson hit their stride. Duke shot 62 p.c within the second half, had 29 fast-break factors and, after all, Williamson completed with some aptitude.
With Eight:36 left…