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#17 ‘Hoos come up short at #6 Duke, 61-58

#17 Virginia rallied from a nine-point deficit with nine minutes to go, but two shots at a game-tying three in the game’s final seconds came up empty, and #6 Duke held on for a tough 61-58 home win Thursday night.

An Akil Mitchell followup dunk of a Jontel Evans missed layup pulled the Cavs (14-2, 1-1 ACC) to within three with 47 seconds left. Mike Scott blocked a Seth Curry layup with 16 seconds left, and Virginia coach Tony Bennett elected not to use his final timeout to set up a play, instead leaving the game in the hands of Evans, who found Scott in the right corner for a three that missed badly.

The rebound ended up in the hands of Evans, whose shot was on line but a little long and rimmed out at the buzzer.

UVa. led 32-28 at the half on the strength of 7-of-10 shooting from the field by Scott, who had 16 points at the break. Duke (14-2, 2-0 ACC) came out of the locker room on fire in the second half, making eight of its first 11 from the field to race out to a 53-44 lead with nine minutes left.

The ‘Hoos defense got them back into the game, forcing the Blue Devils into 3-for-9 shooting and five turnovers the rest of the way.

Scott led all scorers with 23 points and also pulled down a game-high nine rebounds. Joe Harris added 14 points for the Cavs, while Sammy Zeglinski, who came into the game averaging 9.9 points per contest, was scoreless on 0-of-8 shooting from the field, including two big misses in the final 90 seconds, a contested layup and a wide-open three.

Mason Plumlee led Duke with 12 points, but was a miserable 2-for-10 from the free-throw line.

Duke shot 52.2 percent from the field for the game. Virginia had allowed opponents to shoot only 38.0 percent from the field coming in.

A big reason the ‘Hoos were able to stay in the game was their work on the boards. Virginia outrebounded Duke 34-27, including 14-6 on the offensive glass.

augusta free press
augusta free press