When any basketball team with a lead, no matter how large, exhales for even a second, everything can change in a hurry.
The Miami Hurricanes learned that the hard way.
A Chris Lykes three-pointer put the Canes up 59-46 on the Duke Blue Devils with 11 minutes left in the second half, forcing a timeout. Miami had all the momentum.
But just minutes later, the Blue Devils responded in a dominant fashion, going on an 18-0 run to both regain the lead and seemingly snatch the Hurricanes’ hearts straight from their chests.
Freshman Gary Trent scored 30 points and made six three-pointers to lead No. 5 Duke past No. 25 Miami 83-75 on Monday night at the Watsco Center.
“Coach [Jim] Larrañaga said that we played well for about 32 minutes, but they were the better team the last eight minutes,” said freshman guard Lonnie Walker IV, who led Miami with 19 points in his third-straight game as a starter. “We need to lock in mentally. We can’t be careless passing the ball. We need to stay engaged.”
The Hurricanes (13-4, 2-3 ACC) have now lost four of their last seven games after winning their first 10 and reaching a national ranking of No. 6. They have eclipsed 80 points just twice during that stretch.
“Lack of discipline,” sophomore forward Dewan Huell said. “We didn’t get back and set our defense. We let them have too many open shots and let them get into a groove.”
The Blue Devils (16-2, 4-2 ACC) win their third-straight game and their first in Coral Gables since 2014.
UM – who ranks in the top five nationally in scoring defense, three-point defense and field-goal defense – held Duke 10 points under its game average but allowed it 55 percent shooting and 11 three-pointers.
The Blue Devils were led by their freshmen, which happens more often than not. Besides Trent, guard Trevon Duval added 17 points, and forwards Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter each recorded double-doubles.
“Jim’s team is always really good,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the game. “In the first few minutes of the second half, they totally dominated us.”
After a Bagley dunk to start the second half that gave the Blue Devils a 44-40 lead, the Hurricanes scored 16 unanswered points. But after that, UM seemed to just run out of gas.
“Everything changed,” Canes coach Jim Larrañaga said. “They switched to zone and we couldn’t buy a basket. We didn’t play as sharply from that point on.”
Bagley, who had 13 points and 12 rebounds, leads both Duke and the entire ACC in scoring and rebounding, averaging more than 22 points and 11 rebounds a game. He notched his fifth-straight double-double.
Huell recorded his third double-double of the season with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Lykes, a freshman, and junior guard Anthony Lawrence each scored 13 points. Sophomore guard Bruce Brown, who scored 25 points in a win against Duke in Feb. 2017, struggled with just seven points on 3-12 shooting.
Miami shot only 37 percent from the field but benefitted from 31 fast-break points.
37 NBA scouts were in attendance.
Miami next travels to Raleigh, North Carolina, to face off against N.C. State – a team that beat Duke just over a week ago. Tip-off is set for a noon start Jan. 21.
Duke returns home to play Pittsburgh at 4 p.m. Jan. 20.