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Duke bounces back with win over Virginia

Jan 15, 2011 - 11:41 PM Durham, NC (Sports Network) - Nolan Smith scored 29 points, pulled down seven rebounds and handed out six assists as top-ranked Duke overcame a slow shooting start to pull away from Virginia, 76-60, at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Andre Dawkins supplied 14 points and Kyle Singler chipped in with 13 as the Blue Devils (16-1, 3-1 ACC) bounced back from their only loss of the season to Florida State on Wednesday to win their 30th straight home game.

Mason Plumlee scored only five points but hauled in a career-high 16 boards for Duke, which improved to 14-2 following a loss over the last four seasons.

Mustapha Farrakhan and Joe Harris scored 15 points apiece for the Cavaliers (10-7, 1-2), who have lost their last 14 visits to Durham.

"I told our guys that for 28, 30 minutes, they played so hard and they executed and they did good things, things to build on in a tough setting against a heck of a team," Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said. "We told them it was going to be a battle for your composure and when that went away, that's when Duke separated quickly."

After trailing by as many as nine early in the second half, Duke came back. Dawkins' three-point play gave the host a 45-44 lead with 12:14 remaining in the game. Smith then made a steal that led to his own dunk and canned a jumper on the next trip down the floor that pushed the lead to 49-44 less than a minute later and finished off a 16-2 surge.

UVA closed to within 54-52 before the Devils took control with a Singler put back and two Dawkins three-pointers to extend their advantage to 10 with just under seven minutes to play.

"I think we picked up our defense in the second half," Dawkins said. "We didn't start off as well as we wanted to, but once we started locking in and really playing defense, we were able to get easy buckets and knock down some open transition shots."

The visitors never got closer than eight the rest of the way, as Duke closed out its 52nd straight home win over a non-ranked opponent by shooting 58.6 percent in the second half.

"I just said some things to get the guys ready to go in the second half," said Singler. "It's the first time I've ever done that. The feeling in the room wasn't right and I guess I needed to change that."

Trailing 11-9, UVA went on a 10-2 spurt, capped by a K.T. Harrell jumper, to take a six-point lead with 6 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

After the Blue Devils pulled to within 19-17, the Cavaliers scored the next eight points, punctuated by a Farrakhan triple, to increase their lead to 27-17 with 3 1/2 minutes remaining before the break.

Two Smith free throws with under 10 seconds left trimmed the margin to 31-25. The Blue Devils shot only 34.5 percent in the first 20 minutes (10-for-29) and faced their largest halftime deficit of the season.

Game Notes

Duke has won the last six meetings with Virginia and 15 of the last 16...The Devils lead the all-time series, 113-48, and are 48-8 against the Cavs at Cameron...14 of Duke's last 15 wins in the series have come by more than 10 points...Smith made 10-of-19 from the floor and 8-of-9 from the foul line...He had his fifth game this season with at least 20 points, five boards and five assists...Duke outrebounded Virginia, 42-31, and outscored the Cavaliers in the paint, 34-24...Virginia shot only 34.5 percent in the game but did make 6-of-16 from beyond the arc...The Cavaliers had only eight assists on 19 made buckets...Duke streamed the game live on the Internet in Mandarin Chinese, the first time in ACC history a game has been broadcast in the language.