The independent news organization of Duke University

Currie helps Duke escape Miami in 2OT

CORAL GABLES, Fla.-With close to 12 seconds remaining in overtime and the score tied at 78, every eye in the BankUnited Center was on one Blue Devil player-Monique Currie.

The National Player of the Year candidate was approaching her career high of 31 points, and had just received a pass from point guard Lindsey Harding for the potentially game-winning basket in the low post.

But the ball bounced off Currie's feet and rolled out of bounds with 10 seconds to play, giving Miami a chance to stun No. 1 Duke.

With the seconds counting down and no timeouts left, Miami point guard Renee Taylor drove down the lane with the hope of converting a layup or drawing a foul. The 5-foot-2 guard, however, was blocked by Harding with one second remaining to send the game into double overtime.

"When we have the ball with 10 seconds left and playing at home, you got to win the game," Miami head coach Katie Meier said. "I thought that was huge. That was our opportunity."

Once the second overtime started, Currie found plenty of opportunities to redeem herself for her gaffe at the end of the first. The senior scored 13 points and shot 10-for-10 from the free-throw line in the second overtime to finish the game with a school-record 43. Her effort lifted Duke (24-1, 12-1 in the ACC) to a 99-93 win over Miami (15-11, 5-8).

Currie also went a career-high 6-for-9 from beyond the arc and missed only one free throw the entire afternoon. In addition, the senior played the last 17 minutes and 52 seconds of the game with four fouls and often was the Blue Devils' only answer in the face of many Hurricane runs.

"She hit some huge shots," Meier said. "We were trying to foul her out of the game. Duke was doing a really smart job of covering for her. We were trying to isolate her and penetrate, and she just never bit."

Miami forced overtime with a furious comeback in the final 36 seconds of regulation. With Duke up 72-65, Taylor hit a three-pointer to close the gap to four. After Harding missed a pair of free throws, Tamara James was fouled by Wanisha Smith and converted both of her shots.

Currie made 1-of-2 free throws on the next possession, and the Hurricanes grabbed the defensive rebound and found Katie Hayek open in the corner for a potentially game-tying three. Although her shot clanked off the front of the rim, Hayek managed to grab her own rebound and get the ball to James, who was then fouled by Smith, sending the ACC's leading scorer to the line to shoot three free throws with 3.6 seconds left.

James hit all three, despite Duke head coach Gail Goestenkors calling a timeout between the second and third.

"My heart was beating so fast," James said. "I was nervous-anybody who tells you they aren't nervous, they lie."

Currie's record-setting performance in overtime masked what was otherwise a poor offensive showing for the Blue Devils, who shot 44 percent from the field in the second half. The team committed a season-high 26 turnovers on the afternoon, including nine by Harding.

"They played great defense and pressure, but it was just our lack of focus," Harding said. "I had way too many turnovers-a couple times we were just throwing the ball away or just being lazy."

Duke had several chances to put the Hurricanes away in the second half, but several mistake-filled Blue Devils' possessions allowed Miami to stay in the game. During one stretch in the second half, Duke capitalized on a seven-minute Hurricane scoring drought to open up a 14 point lead. Miami, however, never gave up, and slowly wore away the Blue Devils' advantage before the game's frenzied finish.

"We watched enough tape to know they were really scrappy," Goestenkors said. "When they get on a roll they can score a lot of points very quickly. They got on a good roll tonight. The longer they stayed with us, I thought, the more confidence they gained."


Share and discuss “Currie helps Duke escape Miami in 2OT” on social media.