Duke Blue Devils vs. Hofstra Pride Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 12th 2023

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Duke has won its last 23 home games against unranked nonconference foes, yet the No. 21 Blue Devils do not figure to take their next one lightly when Hofstra visits Durham, N.C.

With the memories of a rough week still vivid and an upset-happy team ready to step on Duke’s home floor, Duke will not need a reminder of the potential perils of looking beyond Hofstra.

The Blue Devils will complete a two-game homestand Tuesday night, when they host the defending Coastal Athletic Association regular-season champion in the first meeting between the schools in men’s basketball.

Both teams have been off since Saturday, when Duke snapped a two-game losing streak by beating Charlotte 80-56 and Hofstra squandered an 11-point first half lead and fell 71-68 to host Saint Louis.

The wire-to-wire win represented a return to form for Duke (6-3), which was coming off single-digit road losses to Arkansas and ACC rival Georgia Tech. The Blue Devils had four players score in double figures Saturday while 7-footer Kyle Filipowski collected 13 rebounds and had a team-high four assists.

“I’m proud of the response that our team had,” Duke head coach Jon Scheyer said. “Our program is about not necessarily being perfect, but it is about competition. It’s about competing. It’s about responding.

“In the last two games last week, we weren’t good enough. That means all of us — coaches, players, that includes everybody, staff. So for us, this week was about getting back to work.”

The Blue Devils scored a season-high 45 points in the first half against Charlotte and finished with 15 assists after collecting 22 combined assists against Arkansas and Georgia Tech. Duke also allowed the 49ers to shoot just 20.0 percent (4-of-20) from 3-point range after the Razorbacks and Yellow Jackets shot a combined 35.6 percent.

“I love the collective effort on the defensive end, and of course, when you do that, you end up having the most points you’ve scored in the first half all year, because you’re just sharing and you are focusing on just giving it everything you have,” Scheyer said. “So I’m proud of the response.”

Hofstra (6-3) will be looking to author another upset while bouncing back from a disappointing loss to Saint Louis. An 88-86 overtime win over Rutgers in the first round of the NIT in March was the Pride’s third win over a power conference foe since the 2019-20 season.

Hofstra, which beat UCLA 88-78 on Nov. 21, 2019 and defeated Arkansas 89-81 on Dec. 18, 2021, also ended CAA rival Charleston’s 20-game winning streak with an 85-81 win over the then-no. 18 Cougars on Jan. 28 last season.

“We have a lot to improve on and a quick turnaround against a really good opponent,” Scheyer said.

The Pride, who were picked to finish fourth in the 14-team CAA, had their five-game winning streak snapped Saturday afternoon when they committed three turnovers in the final two minutes.

Tyler Thomas, who scored 29 points Saturday and leads the team with 23.6 points per game, missed a pair of potential go-ahead shots in the last 33 seconds.

“We had a lot of mental mistakes, and when you’re on the road trying to win against an Atlantic 10 team, you can’t make those mistakes,” said Hofstra head coach Speedy Claxton, an alum of the Long Island school who played seven seasons in the NBA.

“We’re a good team and we can compete with anybody on our schedule. We’ll learn from this experience and go on and try to get Duke.”

–Field Level Media

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