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Courtesy: Tim Leopardi
Ground Ball Notebook: 4th Quarter Rally Fuels Duke
Friday 04/16/2013  -  Duke Sports Information
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After falling behind 13-9 early in the third quarter against ACC rival Virginia, the Blue Devils were faced with their largest deficit of the evening with less than 25 minutes left to play. Sparked by a pair of assists from Jordan Wolf, the Blue Devils responded with three unanswered to make it 13-12. The Cavaliers went back in front by two, 14-12, with a tally with 27 seconds left, but the fourth quarter was all Duke. Jake Tripucka scored his third of the night 59 seconds into the period and then assisted on the next two scores to put the Blue Devils ahead for good 15-14. Overall, Duke used a 10-1 run over a span of 20:18 for the 19-14 advantage with 3:50 to play. Josh Dionne netted three of his five goals in the fourth quarter, while Tripucka tallied four of his seven points and Josh Offit added a goal and two assists.

Crucial in Duke’s fourth-quarter run was junior Brendan Fowler at the faceoff X as Duke’s draw man won all nine restarts to give the Blue Devils an overwhelming advantage on possessions. Prior to the fourth quarter, Fowler had won just 10-of-21 faceoffs, including just 1-of-4 in the third quarter. The Wantagh, N.Y., native currently ranks fourth nationally in faceoff win percentage (.647) and second in ground balls per game (9.71) – both of which are tops in the ACC. 

Duke pushed its current win streak to eight games with the 19-16 victory over Virginia. The win also marked the 13th straight regular season triumph over the Cavaliers. The Blue Devils last lost this season March 2 against Maryland and last fell to Virginia in the regular season April 17, 2004. The eight-game win streak is the longest active stretch in the nation, while the six straight at home is second among Division I programs.

Senior midfielder had a career night in the 19-16 victory over Virginia, scoring a career-high seven points from three goals and four assists. The hat trick was the second of Tripucka’s career, while the four assists surpassed his previous career best of three earlier this season. The Boonton Township, N.J., native is currently tied for fifth in the ACC in assists per game and is fourth overall on the team in points.

Junior attackman Josh Dionne found his rhythm in the fourth quarter, tallying three goals on six shots in the final 15 minutes to finish with a career-high five scores. Dionne went 0-for-4 in the third quarter and was 2-of-9 overall heading into the last stanza. Overall, Dionne has a .329 shot percentage this season and is putting 72 percent of his shots on cage.

Duke finished the ACC regular season with a 2-1 overall record to earn a share of the ACC regular season crown with Maryland and North Carolina. The Blue Devils now have won at least a share of the conference regular season title 10 times, including six times under head coach John Danowski. The Blue Devils earned the third seed overall after the goals allowed tiebreaker and will take on No. 2 seed North Carolina in the semifinals, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

Duke stayed put at No. 7 in the second RPI released by the NCAA Monday afternoon. Denver, Notre Dame and North Carolina take the top three spots, respectively, with Penn State coming in at No. 4 and Maryland rounding out the top five. The Blue Devils’ four losses have all come against current top 10 squads, including the top two.

Head coach John Danowski returns to his alma mater Rutgers for the first time as the leader of the Duke program. The longtime head coach was a four-year letterwinner for the Scarlet Knights and helped lead them to the NCAA Tournament in 1973 and 1974. Danowski currently ranks second in career assists (120) eighth in career points (177), while his 54 assists in 1976 still stand as the most in Rutgers single season history and his 72 points that year are fourth.


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