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LIVE BLOG: Duke 82, Rhode Island 79 (FINAL)

Duke wins, 82-79. More to come.

Duke 80, Rhode Island 79, :4.9 left: Fabulous defense by Singler forces a very tough fadeaway from the wing by Baron; the ball comes up short, and the rebound goes out of bounds. Duke ball, up one.

Duke 80, Rhode Island 79, :10.6 left: Rhode Island is going to have last possession here with a chance to win the game. Duke has the lead for the first time in forever, but the Rams' size inside could be the difference on this trip. Can the Blue Devils steal one in which they trailed throughout?

Rhode Island 77, Duke 66, 1:41 left: The crowd is alive here at Cameron, especially after Jimmy Baron touched the ball and didn't hit a 3. Good defense by Singler forced a travel, and Singler scored on a nice reverse layup to cut the lead to just a single point. Rhode Island ball.

Rhode Island 77, Duke 72,  2:58 left: We are running out of ways to describe Jimmy Baron. He's made them from the right wing, the corner, the top of the key, and now the left wing, this time with Scheyer almost covering his eyes.

Rhode Island 74, Duke 70, 3:18 left: As if prophetic, Baron hits a 3 from well beyond NBA range with Singler in his face. Singler himself answers with a 3 the next time down, though, and the lead is still three. Then, Baron drains yet another tough 3-pointer, this time with Dave McClure, arguably Duke's best defender, all over him. Baron now has 21 points, all on 3-pointers, six of them in the second half. But Duke is hanging around, down just four with Scheyer at the free throw line...

Rhode Island 68, Duke 65, 5:59 left: Coach K calls a timeout after a Henderson drive cuts the lead to three. Duke has had chances to make that breakthrough, turning a three-point deficit into a quick lead, but hasn't been able to take it. The game's trends would dictate another crushing three by Baron or a tough inside hoop from Delroy James, but a stop would be big for the Blue Devils.

Rhode Island 66, Duke 61, 7:53 left: If Jimmy Baron played for Duke, he would be eliciting some "Jimmy Baron, DI-NO-MITE" chants (forgive us for the spelling, and the blasphemy). Baron has hit five threes, J.J. Redick style, and the Blue Devils still trail by five. They've been scoring on most every posession, but haven't been able to get the stops they need to claw back into this game.

Rhode Island 57, Duke 52, 11:57 left: The run that puts Duke over the top, the one everybody in Cameron is waiting for, hasn't come. In fact, every time the Blue Devils threaten, the Rams come back with a big rebound, killer 3, or dunk. This was a nice effort by a mid-major for a while, but fans can start to worry at this point.

By the way, Gerald Henderson hasn't been seen since the second half's opening minutes, when he picked up his fourth foul.

Rhode Island 53, Duke 48, 14:10 left in the second half: Rhode Island's Jimmy Baron, son of Rams' head coach Jim Baron, is torching the Blue Devils. He's already hit three 3-pointers, all of them contested, in the half alone. He has 12 points in the game.

Rhode Island 48, Duke 46, 15:45 left in the second half: This has quickly turned into one of the most up-and-down games Cameron has seen in a while. Duke tries to press and gets broken, and the Rams get a basket on the other end. Then, Scheyer or Singler dribbles all the way down the floor and scores or creates a basket for Duke. Rinse, lather, repeat. This style would seem to suit the Blue Devils, but only if they can get some stops and turnovers, something they haven't done in the first four minutes of the half.

Some halftime numbers: Duke forced 12 turnovers and committed just seven, but was outrebounded 21-14 and outshot 50.0 percent to 30.8.

HALFTIME: Rhode Island 34, Duke 33

Very impressive run by Duke, which had shown nothing for the first 16 minutes, to end the half. That 9-0 spurt, which included Henderson's dunk, a three-pointer from Singler, and free throws from Smith, was capped off by Scheyer's last-second layup. Incredibly, the Blue Devils are down just one despite being pretty thoroughly outplayed for most of the half.

Rhode Island 34, Duke 26, 1:51 left: Lance Thomas sets a crushing screen on Rhode Island's Stevie Mejia, which leaves him prone on the ground. The Blue Devils exploit the opening, Henderson flies in for a dunk, and the crowd goes wild. After a layup by Smith, Duke is still down 8, with the ball.

Also, the Cameron Crazies just started a "Please Don't Eat Me" chant about the Rams' Jason Francis, who is listed at 6-foot-8, 280 pounds, and looks every inch of it.

Rhode Island 31, Duke 22, 3:55 left: Smith and Paulus played together in Duke's backcourt for two posessions, and both trips looked poor and unorganized. Rhode Island's perimeter players have maintained their hot start, and their lead has continued to slowly grow. It will be interesting to see how the Blue Devils respond to their first real deficit of the season. So far, they haven't appeared likely to cut into it.

Rhode Island 24, Duke 18, 7:26 left: With Duke down eight just a minute ago, the crowd gets into it at the urging of Greg Paulus, who promptly steals an errant pass and takes it in for an easy basket. Still, the Rams are getting every rebound in traffic, and even when the Blue Devils play great defense, Rhode Island has been able to find an open shot late in the shot clock. At least the fans at Cameron Indoor have woken up. Now it's up to the players to do follow Paulus's example and do the same.

Rhode Island 17, Duke 12, 11:39 left in the game: A stagnant and sloppy Duke offense, coupled with incredible outside shooting from the Rams, has left the Blue Devils in a five-point hole. Rhode Island's ballhandlers have had a ton of trouble bringing the ball upcourt, especially against Nolan Smith, but when they've managed to break past Duke's trap, they've hit nearly every shot they've taken. You would think this hot shooting can't continue all game, but who knows?

Duke 10, Rhode Island 8, 14:16 left in the first half: Well, Duke followed that last post by forcing turnovers on three straight posessions, which led to three free throws. On the fourth, a lane violation was called against Duke. The Blue Devils have taken the lead, but silly mistakes have kept Rhode Island in it so far.

Rhode Island 8, Duke 7, 15:55 left in the first half: At the first TV timeout, the Blue Devils have yet to settle down. The Rams have made several off-balance jumpers from the perimeter already, but have also turned the ball over. Let's see if Duke can translate those turnovers into points.


Duke: Smith, Scheyer, Henderson, Singler, Zoubek

Rhode Island: Martell, Jones, Baron, Cothran, James

Welcome to Cameron Indoor, which is still filling in with the late-arriving crowd. Rhode Island is wearing some spectacular powder-blue uniforms, and the Blue Devils will be in white today.

One notable attendee for today's game is Bobby Knight, the former coach at Indiana and Texas Tech, one of the most controversial coaches of all time, and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski's coach all those years ago at Army. For the record, Knight is wearing his trademark sweater.


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