Cavaliers Fall to Top-Seeded Duke in ACC Quarterfinals
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Kyle Singler had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 4 Duke pulled away late to beat pesky Virginia 57-46 on Friday in an Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament quarterfinal game.
Nolan Smith added 15 points for the top-seeded Blue Devils (27-5) and Jon Scheyer shook off a rough start to score 15 – including seven during the late 11-0 run that sent them into a semifinal game Saturday against Miami.
Jeff Jones had 15 points and Mike Scott added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers (15-16). They got as close as 46-44 in the final seven minutes, but went scoreless for nearly six minutes and were denied their first semifinal berth since 1995. The double-double was Scott’s eighth of the season and the 18th of his career.
Smith started the decisive run by sticking back Singler’s miss with 5:59 left to play. Scheyer banked in a jumper and Singler added a putback to give the Blue Devils plenty of breathing room.
Duke, the defending tournament champion and its No. 1 seed for the 17th time, became the winningest team in the tournament’s history with their 85th victory. The Blue Devils entered tied with rival North Carolina, which will have to wait until next year to catch them after going one-and-done Thursday night.
For the fifth time in six games, they held a team to 55 or fewer points, and shot 46.2 percent (12-26) in the second half to claim their 12th semifinal berth in 13 years and beat Virginia by double figures for the second time in 12 days.
But the Cavaliers wouldn’t allow this one to be anywhere near as one-sided as the 67-49 beating they received in Charlottesville. Duke’s 57 points were the lowest point total for the Blue Devils this season.
Virginia rallied from an 11-point deficit midway through the second half by reeling off nine straight points, a burst capped by Mustapha Farrahkan’s 3-pointer with 6:24 left that turned out to be the Cavaliers’ last field goal of the game. By the time they scored again, on Jones’ free throws with 24.3 seconds left, the outcome was already decided.
That’s in large part because Scheyer finally found his touch. The senior missed 12 of his first 14 shots before he got hot down the stretch. After knocking down a pretty hanging jumper, he converted a three-point play that gave Duke its largest lead, 57-44, with 2:32 left.
Farrakhan finished with nine points, five rebounds and four assists for Virginia, and Jerome Meyinsse scored eight points, had four rebounds and blocked three shots.
Duke shot 38.2 percent (21-55) from the field, including 28.6 percent (4-14) from three-point range, and 64.7 percent (11-17) from the free-throw line. The Blue Devils out-rebounded the Cavaliers 39-37.
Virginia shot 32.1 percent (17-53) from the field, including 21.4 percent (3-14) from three-point range, and 81.8 percent (9-11) from the free-throw line.