CORAL GABLES, Fla.—Once Miami went on its run, it was never even close.
The No. 25 Hurricanes capitalized on No. 1 Duke’s extreme shooting woes and pummeled the Blue Devils 90-63 Wednesday night at the BankUnited Center.
Duke (16-1, 3-1 in the ACC) shot an abysmal 30.1 percent from the field, well below its season average of 47.3 percent entering play. The Blue Devils missed a handful of open looks and lay-ups that were ultimately too detrimental to overcome.
“Not much to say after that. They were men, we were boys,” head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “The score and the performance reflected that disparity. They were terrific. We did not hold up our end of the bargain tonight.”
The loss was the third-worst ever by a No. 1 team, and while No. 1 Duke fell to 3-2 in ACC play, the Hurricanes (13-3, 5-0) solidified themselves at the top of the conference with an undefeated record.
Duke was leading 14-13 with 10:18 left in the first half, but after that it was domination. The Hurricanes proceeded to go on a 25-1 run that lasted more than eight minutes until Amile Jefferson broke the Blue Devil drought with a layup.
“They made shots, they played with a lot of energy, and we can’t come out flat like that,” Rasheed Sulaimon said. “They made two big runs, and we have to do a better job of slowing them down. When they punch us, we’ve got to punch back.”
The run included 14 unanswered points, as Durand Scott and Kenny Kadji added six each to give Miami a 38-15 lead with 2:53 remaining in the first half.
“The ball doesn’t go in everyday,” Alex Murphy said. “You have to work hard on both ends of the floor, and we didn’t do that very well in the first half. They got a lot of easy shots, a lot of open shots.”
Senior guard Seth Curry epitomized Duke’s shooting woes in the first half by shooting 0-for-7 from the floor, including 0-for-4 from beyond the arc. At the half Duke trailed Miami 42-19. Curry finished the game without making a bucket.
“Our three veterans can’t go 6-for-37,” Krzyzewski said. “That’s something I haven’t seen. You’re not going to win if Seth, Quinn and Mason go 6-for-37. When you’re doing that, it’s so unusual that it impacts you in other ways. And it impacts guys that they’re supposed to be leading.”
The Hurricanes scored six unanswered points to start the second half and never looked back. Miami’s trio of Scott, Kadji and point guard Shane Larkin combined for 65 points, as Duke was unable to stop their penetration in the paint. Larkin and Scott also accounted for five of Miami’s nine 3-pointers.
Meanwhile, Duke’s backcourt could not buy a bucket. Curry and Quinn Cook combined to make just 1-of-22 field goals.
“Everybody can’t have a great game every time out,” Sulaimon said. “That’s up to the rest of the team to pick those guys up when they don’t have the night they’re capable of having. We need to do a better job collectively as a team helping our teammates out.”
Sulaimon led the Blue Devils with 16 points and also added four steals.
Duke’s offensive woes were compounded by turnovers and sloppy defense, and the Blue Devils never came within striking range in the second half. Miami cruised to victory while holding the advantage in nearly every statistical category including rebounds, steals and blocks.
Mason Plumlee finished with 15 points but did so on 5-of-14 shooting. He added 11 rebounds for a double-double.
Murphy was a bright spot for the Blue Devils, scoring a career-high 11 points off the bench. Amile Jefferson added a career-high 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting. At the final buzzer the Miami student section flooded the court to celebrate, the second time Duke has watched a ranked opponent rush the court in just 12 days.
“We have to get better,” Plumlee said. “We haven’t won on the road yet. We have to depend on each other more, everyone has to show up, we can’t just have a couple guys show up, and then tonight nobody shows up. We have to get better. We have to be more consistent.”
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