Duke rattled off six unanswered goals in the game's first 9:42 en route to an impressive 19-11 win against Johns Hopkins in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament. The victory sends the Blue Devils to their eighth consecutive Championship Weekend appearance, a remarkable feat in the ultra modern era of Division I lacrosse. The loss continues the Blue Jays' Final Four drought, a stretch that has spans six seasons and stands as the longest in Johns Hopkins' decorated lacrosse history.
The Devils' blitz at the sunrise of the game was one that ultimately defined the contest's scope: Getting a half-dozen tallies from five different scorers, Duke asserted dominating control, generating buckets on each of its first six possessions while killing two Johns Hopkins possessions that dotted the Blue Devils' early surge. The first quarter would end with Duke holding a 7-3 lead -- making the scoreboard blink on 70 percent of their offensive opportunities while the Jays groped their way to a four-goal deficit, scoring on half of their offensive opportunities while dragging a defensive anchor on the ocean floor -- and looking like a definitive national championship contender.
Hopkins would show a little life in the second period, putting five goals on the board -- including stringing together three straight tallies in the half's final 4:07 -- yet it wasn't enough to slow down the Devils' explosive tendencies: Five goals from Duke in the quarter ultimately gave the Blue Devils a 12-8 lead at the break. While the margin on the scoreboard seemed to indicate that the Jays were simply without possession, the details of the first half illustrate a different kind of reality over the first 30 minutes of play: Duke held a plus-three possession advantage, but the Blue Devils (1) made more defensive stops than Hopkins (7-6), and (2) relied less on faceoff wins to score goals than the Jays, getting seven of its goals from faceoff wins and the remaining five from killed defensive opportunities (Johns Hopkins generated five goals from faceoff victories and three from defensive stops (in whatever form that a defensive stop can take)). Duke shredded Hopkins dominating defense to itty-bitty pieces while also turning stops against the Jays' burgeoning offense into goals at the other end of the field at a rate that Hopkins could not match.
The second half opened with the Blue Jays putting two bingers in the scoresheet in the third quarter's first 5:44, drawing within 12-10 of the Devils, but things quickly deteriorated for Hopkins in their pursuit of coming square with Duke: The Blue Devils scored on two of Duke's eight possessions in the period while the Devils would hold Johns Hopkins scoreless on the Blue Jays' final three possessions of the quarter. With a 14-10 lead entering the game's final frame, the outcome was merely academic despite the Jays getting a bucket just 46 seconds into the fourth quarter to close Duke's lead to 14-11.
After that Wells Stanwick goal early in the final quarter, Duke went into full curb-stomping mode, scoring on five straight possessions over a 5:20 stretch to build its eight-goal cushion, one that Hopkins couldn't touch. Over the game's full 60 minutes: (1) Duke held a 33-27 possession margin; (2) Duke scored on 10 offensive possessions that started with a faceoff win while Hopkins scored on six (Duke held a 17-16 faceoff advantage); and (3) Duke scored on nine offensive possessions that started with a defensive stop while Hopkins scored on five (the Devils had 16 defensive stops while the Jays had 14).
TRUNCATED ADVANCED BOX SCORE
|Possession Margin||-6 (27)||+6 (33)|
|Raw Offensive Efficiency||40.74||57.58|
|Raw Offensive Shooting Rate||31.43%||43.18%|
|Shots per Offensive Opportunity||1.30||1.33|
|Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities||37.04||27.27|
|Run-of-Play Groundballs per 100 Possessions||5.00||33.33|
|Saves per 100 Defensive Opportunities||30.30||14.81|
|Team Save Percentage||34.48%||26.67%|