Balanced attack leads No. 5 Duke over MiamiFeb 14, 2011 - 4:00 AM Coral Gables, FL (Sports Network) - Nolan Smith scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half, and No. 5 Duke fended off an improving Miami-Florida club, 81-71, at BankUnited Center.
Seth Curry scored 16 points, Kyle Singler chipped in 14 and Mason Plumlee added 12 for the Blue Devils (23-2, 10-1 ACC), winners of four straight, including a 79-73 comeback win over North Carolina on Wednesday.
Reggie Johnson and Malcolm Grant both posted 16 points for the Hurricanes (15-10, 4-7), who had won three in a row and were vying for a signature win.
Miami's previous eight games were all decided by four points or less, and Sunday's tilt was a tight battle before Smith, held without a field goal in the first half after suffering an injury, came back and turned the game in Duke's favor.
An Adrian Thomas three-pointer had Miami within 52-51 with 14 minutes left, but a Smith jumper and three-pointer on consecutive possessions ignited a 9-0 run. Smith's fastbreak finger-roll off a Miles Plumlee block ended the spurt with 11 1/2 minutes to go.
The Hurricanes stayed within striking distance and had two chances to make it a two-possession game late in regulation. But misses from Grant and Durand Scott on two straight touches, followed by Mason Plumlee's putback, had the hosts down 73-64 with three minutes on the clock.
Miami only got as close as six down the stretch.
"I'm really proud of our team. I thought we beat a very good basketball team tonight," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
The clubs played virtually even for the first 20 minutes, but Duke's 9-0 run to end the half -- capped by a Miles Plumlee lay-in -- gave the visitors a 42-37 edge at the intermission.
"That 9-0 run was the difference in the game," Miami head coach Frank Haith said.
Smith, coming off a career-high 34 point performance on Wednesday, shot 6- for-14 and also handed out five assists...The Blue Devils scored 18 points off 13 turnovers from Miami...Krzyzewski improved to 15-1 against Miami...Scott ended with 10 points and eight assists for Miami, which was outscored at the foul line, 17-5.
- DUKE: 81
Feb 13 8:36 PM
- DUKE: 42
Feb 13 7:29 PM
- DUKE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Feb 13 7:19 PM
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