Kelly Returns, Leads Duke Past Miami
Ryan Kelly was injured during Duke's humiliating 90-63 loss at Miami. During his 15 games before getting injured, he was averaging a nice 13 points, nine shots and five rebounds a game, so his return from the injured list for the rematch today figured to give Duke a nice little boost. Instead he upped those averages by scoring 36 points on 14 shots and grabbing seven rebounds.
Even with his incredible showing, Duke barely survived Shane Larkin's 25 points and two three-point attempts in the final seconds for a 79-76 win. Miami still has a virtual lock on the ACC regular season title, but Duke has a chance to to take a 1-seed away from Miami with the win.
College players average 1.25 points per shot taken (includes foul shots made), so a player who shoots 14 times would typically average 17.5 points, less than half of what Kelly put up due largely to hitting seven of nine three-pointers. No. 5 Duke was favored against No. 3 Miami with the home advantage.
Miami will be heavily favored in their final two games, and needs to win only one game to win the ACC. Currently Miami is 14-2 in conference, while Duke is 12-4. Miami did tie Syracuse for the Big East title to share one conference total.
Kelly knocked down 10 of 14 shots -- including 7 of 9 3-pointers -- for the Blue Devils (25-4, 12-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who avenged a blowout road loss in January by grinding out a tough win in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Quinn Cook added 15 points as Duke built a 10-point lead with about 2 minutes left then held off a frantic rally by Miami.
Shane Larkin scored 25 points to lead the Hurricanes (23-5, 14-2), who missed two 3s in the final seconds to tie it. Larkin came up short on the first over Kelly. Durand Scott ran down the rebound and fired a pass to the left corner to Rion Brown, whose final 3 clanged off the rim as the horn sounded.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.