No. 8 Duke holds off ClemsonJan 16, 2012 - 4:46 AM Clemson, SC (Sports Network) - Andre Dawkins scored a game-high 24 points as No. 8 Duke held off a late surge by Clemson to take a 73-66 victory at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Mason Plumlee added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Blue Devils (15-2, 3-0 ACC), who earned their third consecutive win.
Milton Jennings paced Clemson (9-8, 1-2) with 16 points, while Devin Booker and Andre Young each netted 12. Booker added 13 rebounds in the Tigers' second straight defeat.
"There were some positives that can be taken from this. But at the end of the day, on your home court, you have to try to find a way to win that game, especially when you get off to a good start," Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said. "We didn't get it done."
Duke held a 63-50 lead with under 4 1/2 minutes to play after Dawkins followed up his fourth three-pointer of the game with a steal and a fastbreak dunk.
Dawkins, though, was issued a technical foul for hanging onto the rim too long. Young connected on both free throws and Jennings' tip-in on the ensuing possession were part of an 11-2 spurt by the Tigers that brought them within 65-61 with 1:44 left in the game.
Dawkins' fifth and final trey stopped the run, but Young answered with a shot from downtown to keep it a four-point game with a minute to go.
However, Clemson would not get any closer than that as Plumlee was able to tip a Curry missed three back to a teammate at the top of the key and the Blue Devils made 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to hang on for the win.
"I'm really proud of our guys. We played a really good team tonight," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "Down the stretch, our guys hit free throws and I thought we finished the game very well."
A sloppy start to the game by Duke put them down early.
The Blue Devils turned the ball over five times and shot just 3-for-8 from the floor over the first eight minutes of the game to fall behind, 16-7.
But after the two teams traded buckets, Duke scored the next seven points to get back within two.
Clemson's Tanner Smith turned an Austin Rivers turnover into an easy layup to snap the run, but back-to-back demonstrative dunks by Dawkins and Plumlee, with Plumlee's turning into a three-point play, gave Duke its first lead of the game, 21-20, with 5:49 left in the first half.
Duke would never trail again and took a 32-28 lead into the break.
Duke improved to 70-16 all-time when ranked eighth in the AP Poll...The Blue Devils have won four straight games by 10 points or less. They are now 9-1 this year in such games...Duke holds a 104-29 advantage in the all-time series...Miles Plumlee had six points and a game-high 14 rebounds for Duke...Smith netted 11 points for Clemson.
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1st Half - 20:00
Jan 15 6:07 PM
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