The #7 Duke Blue Devils (23-4, 14-1) won their final home game of the season with a solid 74-64 victory over the #5 Miami Hurricanes (24-4, 13-2) at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C. on Friday night.
Elizabeth Williams led all scorers with 19 points and 9 rebounds while Chelsea Gray’s backcourt play (12 pts, 9 a) helped secure the Blue Devils’ 30th consecutive ACC win at home.
Haley Peters (12 pts, 7 reb), Allison Vernerey (10 pts, 2 reb), and Tricia Liston (9 pts, 2 reb) reinforced Duke’s strong play at both ends of the court as the Blue Devils shot 49% from the field throughout the game.
“It was just a great basketball game. I was proud of our team and our effort,” coach Joanne P. McCallie stated afterwards.
Trailing and leading
After establishing an early 7-2 lead, Miami’s valiant effort to keep it ran out as Gray began to take control of the game.
The Blue Devils finally took over as Gray dished a pass to Williams and they never looked back the rest of the way as they outscored the Hurricanes 50-16 with points scored in the paint throughout the game.
As both teams came out for the second half with the Blue Devils leading 38-28, the Hurricanes kept up their pressure and got some positive results from it as the half wound down.
Not finished just yet
Trailing by as many as 14 points, 67-53, with six minutes remaining, Miami began to make a run and chipped away at the Duke lead.
By the time the teams entered the final two minutes of play, an 11-0 run had the Hurricanes possessing the momentum to overtake the Devils, trailing 67-64.
However, it was Gray who helped to finalize the result as a lay-up drive and two free throws extended Duke’s lead to 71-64 with 46 seconds left to play.
As the Hurricanes fouled and put the Blue Devils to the free throw line while the seconds on the clock counted down, Liston scored three more points over the final 19 seconds and pushed the final margin of victory back up to ten points.
With the 74-64 win, Duke earned the top seed in the upcoming ACC Championship tournament as well as a share of the conference regular season title.
The Blue Devils look to earn the regular season championship outright when they travel to Chapel Hill to take on their Tobacco Road rival, the North Carolina Tar Heels, on Sunday.
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