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McClure's buzzer-beating layup lifts Duke past Clemson

Jan 26, 2007 - 5:07 AM DURHAM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- After getting a gift turnover from Duke, a defensive lapse by Clemson wrapped up a dramatic victory for the Blue Devils.

David McClure scored the game-winning layup at the buzzer on a tremendous pass from freshman Jon Scheyer as 10th-ranked Duke slipped out a 68-66 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over the No. 17 Tigers.

The Blue Devils (17-3, 4-2 ACC), who won for the 20th straight time in the series, had a five-point advantage disappear within an eight-second span after Vernon Hamilton converted a driving layup and hit a miraculous 3-pointer.

"We won a great game," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "Those last 10 minutes, our kids had to be men because I thought (Clemson) was stronger than us."

Closing within 66-63 on the layup by Hamilton with five seconds left, the senior guard caught an errant inbounds pass from Josh McRoberts at the top of the key and fired a 3-pointer, knotting the contest with 4.4 seconds to go.

"The last 12 seconds of the game, we made a mistake," Krzyzewski said. "That kid Hamilton is a heck of a player. We threw the ball to him but he still had to hit it."

Despite the surprising meltdown, Duke came right back on the attack as Scheyer took the inbounds pass to the right of the free-throw line and drove to midcourt, where he fired a perfect pass in the lane to McClure, who avoided two defenders and got a shot attempt off right before the buzzer.

"We had a timeout left and we weren't going to get it to halfcourt and call a timeout," Krzyzewski said. "We felt like we could just push it. They actually took away what we had diagrammed, but Jon made a play and Dave made a shot. It's not an easy shot."

The shocking turn of events continued a nightmarish stretch for the Tigers (18-3, 4-3), who have not beaten the Blue Devils since January 1, 1997, and have dropped their last 11 appearances in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

"As much as our team followed the game plan, no player followed it better than our sixth man (crowd)," Krzyzewski said. "Our sixth man was terrific. It was one of those magical nights in Cameron. I really want to thank the crowd and especially the students for understanding and for being hungry."

The Blue Devils' smooth execution in the closing seconds was also astounding as the Tigers' full-court pressure caused numerous problems for Duke throughout the contest, forcing 16 turnovers.

"They play such good defense," Krzyzewski said. "They wear you down and they have good depth and are obviously well-coached and well-disciplined."

Scheyer finished with 12 points and four assists and McRoberts had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Blue Devils, who overcame 41 percent (24-of-58) shooting with a 40-24 advantage on the boards, including 17-6 offensive.

"I'm amazed at the 40-24 stat," Krzyzewski said. "That's why I think our kids were so deserving to win. I thought (Clemson) played well, (but) I just thought we played a little bit better and it showed up in the offensive rebounding."

After a tight start, Duke ended the first half on a 14-2 run, opening a 36-25 advantage at the half. McRoberts had five points during the burst, including a dunk with four seconds left off a pass out of a double-team by Greg Paulus.

That proved to be the biggest lead of the game for the Blue Devils, who saw the Tigers close within 47-44 with 12:32 remaining on a 3-pointer by K.C. Rivers.

Although McRoberts and Paulus answered back with 3-pointers over the next two-plus minutes to push the lead back up to nine points, Clemson charged again, knotting the score at 60-60 on a second consecutive layup by James Mays with 3:31 left.

Scheyer made four free throws and freshman Gerald Henderson added two more to give Duke a 66-61 advantage before Hamilton led Clemson's comeback.

Hamilton scored 21 points and Mays added 13 for Clemson, which lost for the third time in four games after tying a school record with a 17-0 start.

  • ** CONFIRMED **
    CLEMSON (17) 66
    DUKE (10) 68 FINAL

    Jan 25 9:23 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 68 roots

    Clemson vs. DukeJan 25 8:54 PM

    CLEMSON (17) VS DUKE (10)

    Jan 25 7:50 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 17 roots

    Clemson vs. DukeJan 25 7:02 PM