When climate change experts warned hurricanes were getting stronger and a more frequent problem, that probably wasn’t what they meant. But when the Miami Hurricanes arrived at Cameron Indoor Stadium to take on Duke on Saturday night, they fulfilled that prophecy in a new way.
The game was as chaotic as a hurricane, with constant changes in lead and changes in momentum. Number 2 Duke fell in Miami 76-74 on Saturday night, the Blue Devils’ first loss in the ACC game this season. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes extended their perfect conference record. After finishing the first half timeout itself, Duke struggled to regain his lead after the intermission. The comeback has failed, proving that Miami is indeed a true power player in the conference this season.
“The main story will take place at the last minute,” said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “But for me the story of the game was our turnovers. For me it shows the rust we have.”
Throughout the second half the lead continued to swing like a pendulum. Miami responded to a Mark Williams slam with its own dunk. A pair of free throws from Wendell Moore Jr. were greeted by a 3-point pointer from Isaiah Wong. In the end, the Hurricanes took the lead again. With eight minutes remaining, Duke was down 63-59.
No Hurricanes player in particular torched Duke, but the team’s veterans did come out to play. Charlie Moore and Kameron McGusty, both sixth-year seniors and very proficient perimeter shooters for Miami, challenged Duke’s young defenders. Charlie Moore finished with 18 points on 7 of 13 shots. McGusty scored 14 points to complete it, many of which came in the second half to maintain Miami’s slight advantage.
“[Charlie] Moore played really well, ”said Krzyzewski. “I thought Moore was the key to the game. The seven flights were huge. “
With two and a half minutes to go, a signal from junior forward Wendell Moore reduced Duke’s deficit to just one. So close.
As the clock digits slipped below a minute, the Blue Devils finally found what they believed to be their saving grace. Freshman Paolo Banchero converted a layup, giving Duke his first lead in a long time. Banchero then returned to defense, intercepted a pass and slammed the ball on the quick counterattack to push the score 74-71 to Duke’s advantage.
But on the other end, Charlie Moore and McGusty returned the favor with an out layup each to give Miami a two-point lead. Wendell Moore Jr. couldn’t hit a 3-point fin on the other end, but the Hurricanes got the ball out of bounds with 0.7 seconds left.
The Blue Devils had one last chance. Freshman Trevor Keels drove to the right elbow, but saw the lane blocked by hurricane defenders. Long-range recoil bounced off the right side of the rim, and Duke’s hopes were ultimately dashed.
“I thought we had a good shot,” Krzyzewski said. “Trevor really took the strong ball and maybe had a chance to foul. They played really well the last play – we had a chance to win. But we didn’t.”
Duke (12-2, 2-1 in ACC) has banned all food and drink from Cameron Indoor Stadium to comply with University policy of banning indoor dining. It’s sure fans have snuck into some snack items anyway. But during a tense basketball first half, no one seemed in the mood for Doritos’ smuggling.
Get overtime, all Duke athletics
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter organized by an editorial. Cancel anytime.
No Duke player looked completely in good shape when the match started. Banchero only scored one basket in the first half. Wendell Moore played a little better, scoring six points and grabbing seven rebounds in the first half. However, he also committed four turnovers, a theme for Duke in the opening period.
The Hurricanes (13-3, 5-0) took advantage of six Blue Devil turnovers in the first eight minutes to take the lead quickly. By the end of the half, Duke had committed 13 turnovers.
“We have helped them a lot,” said Wendell Moore. “A lot of our turnovers were unforced errors – just lazy passing, dribbling the ball off our legs, dribbling in doubles teams… just things we know we really can’t do.”
However, Duke barged in as he has so often done this season. Banchero landed a triple on the wings to give Duke his first lead. Two more 3-pointers from Jeremy Roach and AJ Griffin helped the Blue Devils achieve a 13-2 streak.
The lead quickly evaporated. The Blue Devils made their eight free throws, but Miami converted their five attempts from the charity strip. After 20 minutes of play, the only free throw missed was that of JJ Redick, who missed a free throw at halftime to miss $ 1,000 donated to Duke Children’s Hospital.
Duke headed for halftime, all tied with Miami at 32-32.
The second half opened with a lot more energy on both sides. Williams rocked the rim on a dunk and made a layup and layup on the Blue Devil’s next possession to earn a point lead, but they were unable to complete the settlement in the lead.
“I think it starts with me,” said Wendell Moore, one of the very few top class students on the Duke List. “I think I could be a more vocal leader on the pitch.”
Wendell Moore finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Banchero led Duke with 20 points. However, the duo combined nine turnovers among the team’s 17 in total.
Next, the Blue Devils will travel to Winston-Salem to face a 13-3 Wake Forest squad on Wednesday at 7 p.m.