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No. 5 Duke Snaps Miami's Three-Game Win Streak

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Box Score | Photo Gallery | UM Postgame Press Conference | Duke Postgame Press Conference

Coral Gables, Fla. (AP) – Nolan Smith scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half, Seth Curry added 16 and No. 5 Duke extended its Atlantic Coast Conference lead by holding off Miami 81-71 on Sunday night.

Kyle Singler scored 14 and Mason Plumlee 12 for the Blue Devils (23-2, 10-1). Duke’s record after 25 games matches its best since the 2005-06 season.

Reggie Johnson scored 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting for Miami (15-10, 4-7), which was bidding for its first four-game ACC winning streak since February 2008 — the last time the Hurricanes defeated Duke.

The Blue Devils didn’t let that happen again, building a double-digit lead midway through the second half and controlling the game from there.

Miami got within six points twice in the final minute, only to have Tyler Thornton hit two free throws on ensuing Duke possessions to keep the Hurricanes out of reach.

Malcolm Grant also scored 16 and Durand Scott added 10 points and a game-high eight assists for the Hurricanes, who play four of their last six regular-season games on the road.

  1st 2nd F
No. 5 Duke 42 39 81
Miami 37 34 71
Team Stat Comparison
  UM Duke
Points 81 71
FG Made-Attempted 29-64 28-56
FG Percentage 45.3 50.0
3P Made-Attempted 8-22 8-19
3P Percentage 36.4 42.1
FT Made-Attempted 5-6 17-21
FT Percentage 83.3 81.0
Rebounds 32 33
Assists 16 17
Turnovers 13 9
Miami Stat Leaders Duke
Johnson/Grant 16 Points 18 N. Smith
R. Johnson 7 Rebounds 7 K. Singler
D. Scott 8 Assists 5 N. Smith
Adams/Jones 1 Steals 5 S. Curry
3 Players 1 Blocks 1 Plumlee/Plumlee

In short, when Smith got rolling, everything started to click for Duke.

He went to the bench with two fouls – and a bigger problem – with 13:08 left in the opening half.

After fouling Johnson, Smith was inadvertently poked in the eye, then was dealing with some vision and light-sensitivity issues on the Blue Devils’ bench, where he remained for nearly 9 minutes.

It was an opportunity missed for Miami.

The Hurricanes were down 16-15 when Smith left the game, and the deficit was 31-27 when he returned, in part because Miami’s best scorer was on the bench as well. Grant scored 12 points and hit three 3-pointers in the first 6:53 of the game, then sat out the final 9:32 until halftime after getting his second foul.

Smith didn’t make his first field goal until 15:16 remained in the game, a pull-up in transition. Once he started, the scores came in bunches. He made three more shots in the next 3 minutes, capped by a driving layup to give Duke what was then its biggest lead, 61-51 with 11:34 remaining.

Duke hadn’t played since Wednesday’s 79-73 home win over North Carolina, a game in which the Blue Devils fought their way back from an early 16-point deficit.

They started slowly Sunday as well. Miami made its first four shots, capped by Grant connecting on a 3-pointer while getting fouled by Smith for a quick 10-4 lead.

Things calmed down quickly.

Duke scored the next seven points, and although Miami reclaimed the lead six more times during a back-and-forth first half, the Hurricanes’ biggest edge came at 37-33 after Rion Brown made a 3-pointer with 2:46 left.

Duke closed the half on a 9-0 run, and after Miami got within one early in the second half, another 9-0 burst – fueled when Smith finally found his scoring groove – pushed the Blue Devils’ lead back to double digits.

The Blue Devils tightened up their defense in the second half as well, holding Miami to 41 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes.

Tonight’s Starters
Starting for Miami tonight was Durand Scott, Garrius Adams, Reggie Johnson, Malcolm Grant and Julian Gamble. This has been the most frequent lineup for the ‘Canes this year, going 6-4 with these starters. Scott, Grant and Johnson have started every game this season.

A New Attendance Record
The sellout crowd of 7,972 set a new BankUnited Center record for a Miami men’s basketball game. The arena expanded general admission seating this season.

Tonight’s Opponent
The was the second meeting between the Hurricanes and the Blue Devils. Duke took the matchup 74-63 in Durham on January 2nd. Duke is one of the four ACC teams that are on the schedule twice this season for the ‘Canes, joining Boston College, Florida State and Clemson.

From Downtown
With Malcolm Grant‘s three-pointer that turned into a four-point play with 17:10 remaining in the first half, the Hurricanes have now made a three-pointer in 285 straight games. Grant went 3-of-4 from long range in 10 minutes of action in the first half before going to the bench with his second foul.Grant has hit a trey in 12-straight games for the third-longest active streak in the ACC and in 22 of 25 games this season, with three-plus threes 13 times. Finishing with a team-high tying 16 points, Grant also extends his double-figure scoring streak to eight straight for the fourth-longest active streak in the league.

Veteran Adrian Thomas has now connected from deep in nine-straight games, 19 of the last 20 games and in 69 of his last 77 games.

Welcome Back
DeQuan Jones made his first appearance on the hardwood since breaking his hand on January 15th against Boston College, checking into the game with 13:34 remaining in the first half. He went on to log 12 minutes of play, recording two poitns, one rebound, one assist and one steal for UM.

En Fuego
For the second straight game, Miami came out hot shooting 50 percent from the field in the first half.

Dishing it Out
Durand Scott registerd eight assists to match his season high while only committing two turnovers.

Off the Bench
Freshman Rion Brown led the bench scoring for Miami with eight points, including a pair of three-pointers. The Hurricanes scored 16 points in relief compared to Duke’s 12.

Faces in the Crowd
Among those in attendance tonight were Edgerrin James, Jimmy Graham, Warren Sapp, head football coach Al Golden, Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt, former UM baseball players Erick San Pedro and Darin Spassoff, as well as Super Bowl XLV champion Sam Shields.