DURHAM, N.C. (CBSMiami) – The University of Miami’s basketball season hasn’t been especially great, but Sunday, the Hurricanes stormed Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke and silenced the Cameron Crazies, 78-74 in overtime.
The victory for Miami marked the second loss in the last three home games for the Blue Devils. Duke had its 45-game home winning streak broken by Florida State two weeks ago. But it’s hard not to understate how big a victory it was for Miami.
“To come in here and play with the kind of poise we did, play the kind of defense we did — especially in the first half and in the overtime — was something that we can be very, very proud of,” Canes head coach Jim Larranaga said.
The Canes were led by 6’10”, 284 pound center Reggie Johnson who abused the Blue Devils’ front line. Johnson scored 27 points and pulled down a season-high 12 rebounds during the overtime victory.l
“I feel I had the hot hand the whole game,” Johnson said, adding that new coach Jim Larranaga “was trying to ride me a whole lot. My teammates found me in good positions — catch and score.”
The Canes tried to give the game away in the second half when they blew a 16-point lead over the Blue Devils. Kenny Kadji added 15 points to help push the Hurricanes over the top.
Miami’s poise gave the squad its first victory ever at Cameron and just its second win over Duke since joining the ACC. The Hurricanes are on their first four-game winning streak since 2008 and have won three consecutive ACC road games for the first time.
Johnson scored the Hurricanes’ first four points in overtime before Malcolm Grant’s open-court layup put Miami up 75-69 with 2:10 left.
Miami forced 14 turnovers and was cruising before going cold midway through the second half, managing only one field goal during the critical stretch that coincided with Duke’s rally.
Miami went up by 16 points three times, the last on Kadji’s open 3-pointer from the key that made it 53-37 with 14½ minutes left. But a putback by Johnson was the Hurricanes’ only field goal for quite over the next 8½ minutes.
Duke, which missed 15 of 18 shots during the stretch that put it in such a huge hole, got equally hot during the 16-2 run led by Curry that put the Blue Devils right back in it.
“For 24 minutes, I just think we were not very good at all,” Krzyzewski said. “We had no energy and they did. … Then in the last 16 minutes of regulation, I thought we played extremely well and gave ourselves an opportunity to win.”
But more distressing to Krzyzewski — once again — the Blue Devils played for too long without the all-out effort that has marked his program’s rise among the nation’s elite.
“A Duke team should play with energy for 40 minutes, or 45,” Krzyzewski said. “Go outside right now and you look at the banners — there are quite a few of them up there. They were not won without energy, without hunger, with no complacency, with people really wanting it.