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Defense, rebounding lift Duke past Miami

The SportsXchange

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- If Duke retained any nightmares from Miami's 27-point demolition of the Blue Devils here a year ago, they didn't linger long Wednesday.

Duke dominated defensively and on the boards while racing to a 67-46 victory over the Hurricanes.

The Blue Devils won the rebounding battle 42-28 while holding the Hurricanes to 35.4 percent shooting from the field.

With the win, the Blue Devils (15-4, 4-2) snapped a two-game losing streak on the road in Atlantic Coast Conference play. The Hurricanes (10-8, 2-4) remained winless at home in league play with their third ACC loss at the BankUnited Center.

Duke didn't exactly light up the basket, shooting 42.9 percent from the field, but the Blue Devils put up a barrage of 3-pointers to make up for their inconsistent aim.

Of their 56 field-goal attempts, 25 came from long distance, and they sank eight 3-pointers.

Duke freshman forward Jabari Parker led all scorers with 17 points, and forward Rodney Hood added 12. Parker also had 15 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season.

"I just think you're going to keep seeing more things from him," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "So much is expected of him, but he's not trained yet to do all these things and doesn't have the experience."

Forward Donnavan Kirk led Miami with 11 points. Kirk, the team's leading rebounder at 6.7 per game, had only one board.

"We had a lot of trouble rebounding," Kirk said. "That's what hurt us -- second-chance points."

Duke outscored Miami 22-7 in that category.

"We've got a good, big rebounding team," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. "We're strong. We can be very physical. But we didn't show that tonight."

Also hurting the Hurricanes: Their leading scorer, guard Rion Brown (14.1 points per game), was held to two points, getting his only basket on a tip-in with 15:56 left in the game.

By then, Duke was leading 42-27 after opening the second half on an 11-2 run. The Blue Devils pushed the lead to 62-42 on Hood's resounding dunk off an alley-oop pass from guard Quinn Cook with 3:46 remaining.

The visitors' biggest lead was 23 points with 1:11 left.

"I didn't think our defense was very good tonight," Larranaga said. "What we planned to do, we didn't do a very good job of."

It was clear from the start what Duke was going to do. Krzyzewski opened with a full-court defense and substituted an entire new five at the first media timeout.

The Blue Devils' defense was at times more of a token ploy and other occasions was ratcheted up to a full-pressure affair. The idea, Krzyzewski said, was to get Miami into a more up-tempo pace, which isn't its preferred style.

That, he hoped, also would wear down the Hurricanes, who typically play a seven- or eight-man rotation and are playing with a freshman, Manu Lecomte, at point guard. Lecomte committed six of Miami's 11 turnovers.

"It makes a team go more into its bench," Krzyzewski said of the press, "unless you foul a lot."

Which the Devils did not, getting whistled for only seven personals in the first half and 17 for the game.

Miami stayed within a basket or two of the Blue Devils until the closing minutes of the first half. The Blue Devils then closed out the half on an 11-2 run for a 33-21 lead at the intermission.

NOTES: With the Los Angeles Lakers in town to play the Miami Heat on Thursday night, Lakers star Kobe Bryant, Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and current Heat guard and former Hurricane James Jones were among the crowd of 7,972. Bryant, James and Wade all played for the U.S. team Krzyzewski coached in international competition. ... Miami faces another ranked foe Saturday when it plays host to No. 2 Syracuse. ... The Blue Devils are home Saturday to play Florida State but then face No. 20 Pittsburgh and No. 2 Syracuse in back-to-back road games Jan. 27 and Feb. 1, respectively. ... With the expansion of the ACC to 15 teams, Wednesday night's game was the only time Duke and Miami will meet in the regular season.
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