Duke avenges blowout by Miami, wins 79-76 behind career night by Ryan Kelly

Fifth-ranked Miami Hurricanes traveled to Cameron Indoor Stadium for a big game with third-ranked Duke with national and conference tournament implications.

Duke got redemption against the Miami Hurricanes team that romped the Blue Devils in their meeting last month, reports Yahoo! Sports.  Duke pulled away late in the game but held off a furious Hurricanes rally to win 79-76 in a game that came down to the last shot.

Miami still leads the ACC conference, but Duke has tied the two teams’ overall records, which gives them a better shot at a high seed come tournament selection time in three weeks.

Ryan Kelly, in his first game since early January, according to Fox Sports, started the game scoring the majority of Duke’s points early from the inside and outside. Duke’s star-scorer Seth Curry struggled in this one with only six points, but he had most of the slack covered by a big-scoring performance by Kelly.

Miami shot very well from the three in the first twenty minutes, which gave them a nice lead as high as seven points.  Kenny Kadji scored on a dunk and Durand Scott added a few threes during this time.  Kadji helped with a nice game, earning a double-double with 17-points and ten rebounds.

Kelly kept it close with 20 points and three big threes late in the first half that kept Duke close. He finished with a career-high 36-points.

The second half was back and fourth with the two teams traded leads, mostly staying within three points of each other throughout the first ten minutes.  Curry finally got things going with a three while Duke was down one.  

With just under ten minutes left, Kelly hit another three that gave the Blue Devils another lead.  Duke’s defense then drew a charge, then a block and steal on the next two possessions that helped Duke to a small lead.

Sophomore Shane Larkin led scoring for Miami with 25 points.  He made a 25-foot three pointer against two defenders that brought Miami to within one.  Then Kelly launched and hit another three to put the lead back at four in favor of Duke.

The deciding point came with two and a half minutes remaining.  After a layup by reserve Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon, Miami rushed their offense and caused a turnover with sloppy passing that led to a fast break score and foul by Duke that put them ahead by seven.  Quinn Cook added a three pointer to make it a ten-point spread with under two minutes remaining.

Miami put together a rally with more threes by Larkin, who brought Miami back to within three.  He then forced a trip to the foul line with a few seconds that would have made the game a one point game.

After Miami failed to foul quickly, Mason Plumlee overthrew an open Seth Curry on the other side of the court that went into one of the first few rows on the baseline.  This gave Miami a major opportunity, only down two points, but Duke forced a turnover on a trap that forced two fouls that sent Kelly to the line.  He missed one – giving Miami yet another opportunity to tie down three with just a few seconds remaining.

Miami threw up a desperate heave, then recovered the rebound for another try and miss to cap off the nail biter.