Duke-Miami: What a Difference a Half Makes

Jason RitchieContributor IFebruary 7, 2009

Coming off their worst loss since the 1990 National Championship game against UNLV, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was undoubtedly looking for his team to bounce back and make a statement.

He had to wait about 20 minutes to see it.

Thanks to 6-for-31 shooting, including 4-for-16 from deep, the Blue Devils found themselves down 32-19 at the half. Miami thoroughly dominated.

The Hurricanes owned the boards, going into the half with a 25-to-14 rebounding advantage. They shot 46.2 percent from the field, holding Duke to the above-mentioned 19.4 percent.

Second half. Different half. Different story.

After briefly extending their lead to 16 points early, Miami quickly lost control of the game as Duke came storming back.

Sparked by Gerald Henderson, who hit five of his first six shots (including two from deep) the Devils quickly surged back into the game, tying the game at 42 at the 12:25 mark on a Greg Paulus layup.

Following that layup, Paulus and DeQuan Jones were tied up under the basket, and Jones elbowed Paulus, earning him an ejection from the game.

The two teams traded punches for the remainder of the game, with neither team able to put the other away. With Miami down three and 20 seconds left, Jack McClinton hit a three to tie the game at 68 and send it to overtime.

It took nearly two minutes for either team to score in the extra period. Once  Henderson hit a jumper at the 3:19 mark, Duke never relinquished the lead, growing it to as much as six points before the final buzzer sounded on a hard-fought 78-75 victory.

McClinton led all scorers with 34 points. Duke had four players in double-figures, led by Jon Scheyer's 22. Dave McClure pulled down a game-high (and career-high) 13 rebounds for Duke. Kyle Singler added 10, along with 17 points.