DURHAM, N.C. (AP)—Everyone wondered how long it would take Duke to recover from its blowout loss at Clemson. It turned out the fourth-ranked Blue Devils needed about a half to find themselves again.
Duke trailed by 16 points in the second half before Gerald Henderson and David McClure sparked a comeback to beat Miami 78-75 in overtime Saturday, sending the Blue Devils into next week’s rivalry game against North Carolina with some restored confidence.
Henderson scored 18 of his 19 points after halftime for the Blue Devils (20-3, 7-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), including the go-ahead basket with 3:16 left in overtime. Meanwhile, reserve David McClure had a career-high 13 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass after halftime that helped the Blue Devils get back in the game.
It wasn’t the dominating performance many would have expected from Duke coming off a 74-47 loss against the 10th-ranked Tigers, its worst defeat since a 30-point loss to UNLV in the 1990 NCAA championship game. The Blue Devils shot the ball poorly, couldn’t grab a rebound for the first half and at times looked about as lost as they did Wednesday night.
This time, the Blue Devils had a response.
“You don’t put (the Clemson game) in the closet, because it will come out at another time,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “You don’t sweep it under the rug. It has to be cleaned up, and it has to be destroyed—sometimes in a short period of time. It takes a combination, but the best place for it to occur was out on the court, which it did.
“I think we’ve put Clemson to rest. How we go forward will be based on the foundation of heart that we showed and guts in the last 22 minutes.”
Jon Scheyer led Duke with 22 points, while Kyle Singler shook off a terrible shooting day to come up with a key overtime basket that kept the Blue Devils in control once Miami (15-8, 4-6) stumbled in the extra period. Duke also got 18 points from senior Greg Paulus, who started at the point for the first time in nearly two months.
Duke trailed by 13 at halftime after shooting 6-for-31 (19 percent), then fell behind 38-22 barely 3 minutes into the second half before rallying with a 24-4 run.
“We came out today and showed some character and fight in the second half,” Paulus said. “I don’t think you can forget about (Clemson), and winning this one game isn’t going to make you forget about that.”
Jack McClinton scored a season-high 34 points for Miami, including a 3-pointer over McClure and Singler to force overtime with 14.8 seconds left. Duke had a chance for the win in regulation, but Scheyer missed a 3 in the final seconds.
Once in OT, Henderson scored over Dwayne Collins inside for a 70-68 lead, then Singler—who finished 5-for-23 from the field—drove in for a score two possessions later to push the margin to four. Henderson added a tough stepback jumper over Collins to make it 74-68 with 51.9 seconds to play.
The Hurricanes, meanwhile, missed their first five shots before McClinton hit a 3 with 31.1 seconds left that cut the lead to three. Miami got no closer, with Paulus making two free throws with 10.2 seconds left to seal the win.
McClinton scored Miami’s last 11 points of regulation and all seven in overtime.
“It’s difficult to leave here not winning,” McClinton said. “That’s the good thing about basketball—you live to play another game.”
Duke shot just 33 percent for the game, including 12-for-39 from 3-point range against the Hurricanes’ determined zone defense. The 39 3-point attempts were a school record.
Behind McClure, a 6-foot-6 senior averaging 2.1 points and 3.5 rebounds, the Blue Devils took a 14-2 edge on the offensive boards after halftime. They were outrebounded 25-14 in the first half.
“I was just trying to get our team into a fighting mentality,” McClure said. “I’m trying to play every play, every possession, every game like it’s my last. Hopefully that can rub off on the rest of my team.”
The Hurricanes were coming off a notable performance of their own, a 79-52 win against No. 7 Wake Forest that ended a three-game losing streak. They nearly followed up with another impressive victory, but ended up with their third overtime loss in the past five games.
“I knew we had to be prepared for Duke to come out and give us their ‘A’ effort, not just because of the Clemson thing, but I think that’s what they do,” Miami coach Frank Haith said. “When you play here, the first 5 minutes are always critical because … they’ve got a great crowd, and their fans are into it, and they feed off their crowd.”
Miami’s DeQuan Jones was ejected for a flagrant foul for hitting Paulus with an elbow on a layup midway through the second half.
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