Scare may not be the word for it.
The sixth ranked Duke men’s basketball team beat now 1-5 Vermont, 91-90 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Hopefully this game is a wake up call for their trip to Madison Square Garden for the Thanksgiving holiday for the NIT semifinals when they face Alabama.
I wish I could have been a fly on the wall for both Coach K’s halftime speech and his lockerroom rant after tonight’s game.
The Duke defense has been pretty suspect so far during this season, but it was downright awful tonight. One of the worst team’s in the country in terms of shooting percentage made 64.8% of their shots (35-of-54), almost 67% in the first half. Two Vermont players scored 20 or more points, but both players fouled out (Hector Harold scored a career-high 24 points off the bench and Clancy Rugg scored 20 points).
The two teams went back and forth late in the game, but Duke led by four points with less than ten seconds left when Candon Rusin made Vermont’s fourth three pointer of the game. Rusin was fouled on the shot, though it looked as though Rasheed Sulaimon fell down and Rusin came down on him. He made the free throw and with nine seconds left, the game was tied at 90-90.
Not shockingly, the ball went to Rodney Hood, who drove to the basket and was fouled. He missed the first free throw, not a great time to miss his first free throw in two games. However, he made the second and Duke had the lead with five seconds to go.
Vermont never got a shot off and the Blue Devils survived.
Hood scored 22 points on 6-of-13 and hauled in seven rebounds.
Duke needed every one of freshman Jabari Parker‘s 26 points. He only had seven points at the half and only made 3-of-7 shots. In the second half, he scored 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting. He just missed a double-double: he hauled in nine rebounds (five offensive).
Quinn Cook chipped in 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting. He dished out eight assists to just one first half turnover.
Duke received some help off the bench, but the majority of it came from Andre Dawkins. He scored 16 of the bench’s 25 points.