St. John's
76 - 83 Final
  for this game

Duke hangs on to defeat St. John's

Jan 29, 2012 - 1:36 AM Durham, NC (Sports Network) - Mason Plumlee finished with 15 points and 17 rebounds, and No. 8 Duke held on for an 83-76 victory over St. John's on Saturday.

Ryan Kelly scored 16 points and grabbed nine boards for the Blue Devils (18-3), who controlled most of the game. They led by more than 20 and were still up by double digits with three minutes to play.

St. John's whittled the margin down to four late in the final minute, but a pair of free throws by Kelly helped Duke secure its second consecutive victory.

"We did enough to win, which almost makes me sick to say, I hate saying that. I hate saying we did enough to win. That's not who I am and that's not who this program is," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We don't do enough to win. We play really good basketball and hopefully we win. And that's the story."

Moe Harkless poured in 30 points and had 13 rebounds to lead the Red Storm (9-12), who were coming off Wednesday's win against West Virginia. D'Angelo Harrison added 21 points in the loss.

St. John's faced a big deficit in the second half -- Seth Curry hit a three- pointer about 2 1/2 minutes in to give Duke a 52-30 advantage, and two foul shots by Kelly made it a 60-40 contest with under 14 minutes to go.

But the Red Storm scored 16 of the next 19 points to get back in the game. Harrison drained a pair of three-pointers during the run, which Phil Greene ended with a layup and long-distance make.

The rally had St. John's within 63-56 with 9:12 to go, but Austin Rivers stopped the visitors' momentum by sinking a layup on back-to-back possessions.

The shots helped Duke stabilize, and Plumlee made two free throws with 3:08 left on the clock to give the Blue Devils a 76-63 advantage.

But St. John's followed with another run. Harkless made buckets on three consecutive possessions and knocked down a trey inside the final minute.

"My teammates just gave me the ball," said Harkless. "I'm comfortable now being the guy to hit big shots in big games."

After Kelly made 1-of-2 from the line, Harrison rolled off a screen to hit a deep three and pull the Red Storm within 79-75.

However, there were only 20 seconds left to play. Kelly made two free throws at the other end, and St. John's didn't make another shot from the field.

Duke took control of the contest with a 20-3 run during the first half. Andre Dawkins made three shots from behind the arc to fuel the burst, which helped the Blue Devils go into halftime with a 45-29 advantage.

Game Notes

The Blue Devils shot only 41.5 percent, but made 32-of-42 free throws...St. John's made 44.1 percent of its shots...Duke holds a 15-6 series advantage with St. John's and is 6-1 all-time against the Red Storm at Cameron Indoor Stadium...Dawkins ended with 14 points, while Rivers had 12.