In the revenge rematch on Saturday night, the Duke men’s basketball team beat visiting Miami, 79-76. The loss kept the Hurricanes from clinching the outright ACC regular season title (it would be their first ever basketball outright title). The game was a bit closer than Duke fans would have liked, due to sloppy play and missed free throws over the final minute, but a win’s a win.
In his return (he last played on January 8th due to a foot injury), he was absolutely unstoppable. If you had said he would have had a career night in his return to the court, you should play the lottery more often.
Kelly scored a career-high 36 points on 10-of-14 shooting. He also hauled in seven rebounds in 32 minutes of work. Duke is still undefeated during this season with Kelly in the lineup. Check out Kelly postgame HERE.
Freshman Rasheed Sulaimon was so bad for about 37 minutes of the game and found himself on the bench for a good chunk of the second half. However, when he came back in with about 2:40 to go, he scored four points over a thirty second span to give Duke a seven point lead (which just about put the game away).
Mason Plumlee played with a lot more energy and toughness than he did in Thursday’s loss. He scored 12 points and hauled in five rebounds. Quinn Cook scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting. He also dished out five assists and hauled in four rebounds.
As the guys from ESPN’s College Gameday said following the game, Miami’s Reggie Johnson forgot what time the game started. He really didn’t show up (no points) and they will need him to go far in the tournaments.
The Hurricanes did receive production from their four other starters. Shane Larkin, who many believe will earn the ACC Player of the Year honors, scored 25 points, hauled in four rebounds, and dished out four assists. He scored 19 of his points in the second half. Kenny Kadji scored 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting while hauling in ten rebounds. Trey McKinney-Jones and Durand Scott each scored 12 points and hauled in five rebounds in the loss.
On the negative side, Duke was pummeled on the glass, as they were out-rebounded 37-25 and gave up 11 offensive rebounds. The one in the final seconds that almost led to a game-tying three pointer may have been the most nerve-wracking.
The Blue Devils play struggling Virginia Tech (the worst team in the ACC) at home for Senior Night, which could be very emotional, on Tuesday night. They will need to at least slow down the NCAA scoring leader, Erick Green. They then head to rival North Carolina on Saturday night. Miami plays their final two games at home against Georgia Tech and Clemson with a two game lead over Duke in the ACC standings.