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#1 Duke rallies to top Virginia, 76-60

A 10-0 Duke run midway through the second half erased a Virginia lead, and the top-ranked Blue Devils went on from there to a 76-60 win that wasn’t as easy as the final score would seem to indicate.

UVa. (10-7, 1-2 ACC) led by as many as 10 points in the first half and nine early in the second half before Duke point guard Nolan Smith took control. Smith, who scored a game-high 29 points, put in the last eight points of the first half to pull the Dukies to within six at 31-25 at the break, then kept his team close in the opening minutes of the second half until his teammates could heat up.

It was still just 54-52 Duke with 9:04 to go after Sammy Zeglinski hit three free throws upon being fouled shooting a jumper from behind the arc before another big Duke run pushed the margin to 14 at 68-54 with 3:09 to go.

“I told our guys in the locker room after the game, again 28, 30 minutes, they played so hard and they executed and they did good things, things to build on in a tough setting against a heckuva team. Then the last 10 minutes, I thought we fractured defensively,” Cavs coach Tony Bennett said.

Duke (16-1, 3-1 ACC) shot 59 percent from the field in the second half after shooting just 34.5 percent in the first half, including a woeful 1-for-12 first-half performance from three-point range. The Blue Devils were 4-of-8 from behind the arc in the second half.

Mustapha Farrakhan and Joe Harris each had 15 points to lead the Wahoos. Assane Sene had eight points and five rebounds in 20 minutes for Virginia before going to the bench with foul trouble in the second half at the start of Duke’s series of runs.