Blue Devils turn back Tigers 70-59


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DURHAM, N.C. – Demontez Stitt was able to overcome a bout of strep throat and play in Wednesday night’s crucial ACC basketball contest at Duke, but the gritty senior wasn’t able to overcome his team’s lack of execution down the stretch or the questionable officiating.

Stitt scored 14 points and the Tigers (19-10, 8-7 ACC) forced a season-high 20 turnovers by the Blue Devils, but senior Nolan Smith scored 21 points and fellow senior Kyle Singler had 18 in their final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium in leading No. 4 Duke past Clemson 70-59.

Seth Curry also had 18 points for the Blue Devils (27-3, 13-2).

"You've got to make some of the shots we missed to win," Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said. "That's the difference between being a pretty good team and being a great team."

The Tigers were able to keep within single digits for most of the game and were in it down the stretch despite being held to two field goals in a late 11-minute span.

Duke outscored Clemson 13-4 while pushing the lead into double figures for just the second time in the game at the end of the Tigers’ drought, and Curry capped the run with a free throw with 5:02 left that put Duke up 63-52.

The Tigers cut it to 65-59 on Tanner Smith's jumper with 2 minutes left, but didn't score the rest of the way. Nolan Smith answered by scoring on a baseline drive and then splitting through the Clemson defense on his way to a tomahawk dunk with 37.6 seconds left that put Duke up by double digits to stay.

The Tigers were in an 0-6 hole early in the game, but came back to their first lead of the contest when Devin Booker took a feed from Bryan Narcisse and hit a jumper for an 18-17 Clemson lead with 9:43 remaining in the first half.

The Blue Devils came roaring back and took their biggest lead of the first half when Curry hit a 3-pointer for a 31-20 Duke lead at the 5:43 mark.

Brownell called a full timeout, and the Tigers responded by hitting the offensive boards. Young had one offensive rebound that he fed back to Stitt for an open jumper, and Narcisse had a tip-in that brought the Tigers to within four at 31-27.

The Blue Devils called a timeout, but Narcisse took a steal and fed Young, who drilled a 3-pointer to make it 31-30 Blue Devils. Forty seconds later, Stitt crashed the offensive boards again and hit a short jumper to put Clemson back on top at 32-31.

The Blue Devils held a 36-34 halftime lead.

Milton Jennings added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Tigers, who were denied their first victory at Cameron since 1995. Jerai Grant added 11 boards for the Tigers, who will play their regular-season finale against Virginia Tech on Saturday still in contention for a first-round bye in the ACC tournament.

"I felt like we played hard, gave a lot of effort. We just didn't finish a lot of shots around the rim," Stitt said. "That's how it goes sometimes. We tried to counteract what they were doing, but with those two seniors, two of the top guys in the league, they played hard. They didn't want to lose."


VISITORS: Clemson 19-10, 8-7 ACC
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
31 Devin Booker........ f  3-11   2-4    0-0    0  2  2   3   8  0  2  0  1  18
45 Jerai Grant......... f  3-11   0-0    2-2    6  5 11   4   8  1  2  1  3  28
02 Demontez Stitt...... g  4-15   0-3    6-6    3  4  7   3  14  4  3  0  2  36
05 Tanner Smith........ g  2-4    0-2    0-0    1  1  2   4   4  2  0  0  1  20
11 Andre Young......... g  3-10   2-7    1-3    1  0  1   2   9  1  1  0  1  35
03 Zavier Anderson.....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   2   0  0  2  0  1   4
04 Jonah Baize.........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0  0+
10 Catalin Baciu.......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
12 Cory Stanton........    1-5    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   2   2  0  1  0  2   9
21 Bryan Narcisse......    2-3    0-0    0-0    2  1  3   1   4  1  1  1  2  20
24 Milton Jennings.....    3-10   0-2    4-4    4  7 11   3  10  0  1  1  1  29
44 DeAndre Hopkins.....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0  0+
   TEAM................                         4     4             1
   Totals..............   21-69   4-19  13-15  21 20 41  24  59  9 14  3 14 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-35 37.1%   2nd Half:  8-34 23.5%   Game: 30.4%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-7  42.9%   2nd Half:  1-12  8.3%   Game: 21.1%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  5-5  100 %   2nd Half:  8-10 80.0%   Game: 86.7%    1


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Duke 27-3, 13-2 ACC
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
05 Mason Plumlee....... f  2-3    0-0    4-5    1  6  7   3   8  2  2  5  0  34
12 Kyle Singler........ f  5-12   1-3    7-9    5  6 11   3  18  2  4  1  1  37
34 Ryan Kelly.......... f  2-2    1-1    0-0    2  4  6   1   5  0  1  2  0  23
02 Nolan Smith......... g  7-20   2-6    5-8    2  2  4   4  21  7  8  0  1  40-
30 Seth Curry.......... g  6-13   3-6    3-3    0  1  1   0  18  2  1  0  1  35
03 Tyler Thornton......    0-1    0-1    0-0    0  3  3   3   0  1  3  0  1  18
20 Andre Dawkins.......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  1  0  0   6
21 Miles Plumlee.......    0-1    0-0    0-0    1  1  2   1   0  0  0  0  0   6
53 Casey Peters........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
   TEAM................                         4  4  8
   Totals..............   22-52   7-17  19-25  15 28 43  15  70 14 20  8  4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-30 40.0%   2nd Half: 10-22 45.5%   Game: 42.3%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  4-9  44.4%   2nd Half:  3-8  37.5%   Game: 41.2%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  8-9  88.9%   2nd Half: 11-16 68.8%   Game: 76.0%    1


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Officials: Roger Ayers, Sean Hull, Sean Corbin
Technical fouls: Clemson-None. Duke-None.
Attendance: 9314
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Clemson.......................   34   25  -   59
Duke..........................   36   34  -   70

Points in the paint-CU 32,DU 20. Points off turnovers-CU 19,DU 17.
2nd chance points-CU 22,DU 17. Fast break points-CU 4,DU 6.
Bench points-CU 16,DU 0. Score tied-5 times. Lead changed-4 times.
Last FG-CU 2nd-02:10, DU 2nd-00:38.
Largest lead-CU by 1 1st-09:49, DU by 11 1st-05:36.

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