Blog: Duke fends off upset-minded Vermont, 91-90
Posted November 24, 2013
Durham, N.C. — FINAL: Duke 91, Vermont 90: Vermont led Duke in the closing minutes Sunday before the Blue Devils overcame the Catamounts with a free throw late and extended their non-conference, home win streak to 106 games in a 91-90 victory.
Duke was led by 26 points and nine rebounds from freshman Jabari Parker and another 22 points from Rodney Hood, who sealed the win from the line, in the win.
Vermont shot better than 64 percent from the floor in the losing effort and got 24 points off the bench from Hector Harold.
3:52 2nd: Vermont 78, Duke 77: Vermont is challenging a 105-game home, non-conference win streak for Duke at Cameron as they lead by one at the final media timeout.
7:50 2nd: Duke 71, Vermont 69: Vermont continues their hot shooting and continues to play close tough at Cameron Indoor as it is a two point game with under 8 to play.
11:28 2nd: Duke 61, Vermont 59: Vermont is on a quick 6-0 run and shooting 68 percent from the floor for the game as they have narrowed the gap to just two points at Cameron with under 12 to play.
15:44 2nd: Duke 59, Vermont 49: After a pair of free-throws coming out of the under-16 timeout, Duke's lead is back up to double digits on Vermont led by 17 from Rodney Hood.
HALF: Duke 51, Vermont 43: Duke is on pace for triple-digits led by 15 points from Rodney Hood and an otherwise balanced attack as they take an eight-point advantage to break against Vermont.
6:51 1st: Duke 36, Vermont 25: Duke, who came in to the game looking to control the pace, is doing just that as they lead by 11 at the under-8 timeout of a high-scoring affair early on.
11:40 1st: Duke 21, Vermont 13: Jabari Parker continues to impress and is well on his way to another 20-point performance as he is already at seven and Duke leads Vermont 21-13 at the under-12 of the first half.
15:13 1st: Duke 9, Vermont 8: At the first media timeout, Vermont is hanging close to Duke with 4 points from Clancy Rugg. Duke's Jabari Parker has opened the game with 5 quick ones.
20:00 1st: Duke vs. Vermont: Seeking their 21st consecutive home win, Duke will start the usual suspects of Hood, Parker, Sukaimon, Cook and Jefferson.
The sixth-ranked Duke Blue Devils will attempt to extend their winning streak to four games on Sunday, as they welcome the Vermont Catamounts to Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Vermont, a 21-win team a season ago, has not gotten the new campaign off to a great start, as its only win in five tries came at home over Siena on Nov. 12, 77-66. Since that victory, the Catamounts have dropped three in a row, all on the road, with their most recent setback coming at Wagner on Thursday, 68-61.
In a national showcase game with Kansas in the Champions Classic on Nov. 12, Duke fell on the wrong end of a 94-83 final, but other than that tough defeat it has had a stellar showing in the early going with a 4-1 record. The Blue Devils have claimed victories over Florida Atlantic (97-64), UNC Asheville (91-55) and East Carolina (83-74) during its current homestand, and they have the nation's longest-active home winning streak over non-conference opponents at 105.
The Blue Devils and Catamounts met twice back in the 1970s, with the former coming away victorious each time.
Although the Catamounts managed to overcome a 13-point halftime deficit in their latest contest to take a one-point lead over Wagner with 5:21 to play, they again lost control of the game down stretch, getting outscored 13-5 the rest of the way en route to the setback. They shot less than 39 percent from the field, and they were especially poor from 3-point range where they missed all 12 attempts. Clancy Rugg was impressive in the frontcourt with 18 points, nine rebounds and two blocks, Hector Harold netted 11 points off the bench and Candon Rusin added 10 points.
On the season, Vermont has underperformed in all phases of the game, as it sports negative margins in scoring (-10.0), rebounding (-2.2) and turnovers (-1.0). Rugg is one of the few reliable playmakers in the lineup with 15.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, although he has committed 15 turnovers. Sandro Carissimo scores 10.6 points per game, but has been cold from beyond the arc (6-of-22).
The Blue Devils' clash with ECU at home late last week was much closer than they would have hoped, but despite the narrow nine-point victory, they were in complete control for the most part as they led by as many as 18 and never trailed. Rodney Hood had a career-best performance in the victory, as he was practically flawless (8-of-10 from the field, 12-of-12 from the foul line) on his way to 30 points. Freshman sensation Jabari Parker continued his world- class start to the season with 21 points, nine rebounds and six blocks, while Quinn Cook tallied a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Duke has scored points at will during the first five games, as its 93.0 points per tilt ranks ninth-best in the nation, while its lofty field goal percentage (.561) is fourth. Parker (22.4 ppg, 8.8 rpg) is shooting 55.6 percent from the floor, including a lights-out 13-of-20 from 3-point range, and he is just the second player in school history to score at least 20 in five straight games to start a campaign. Hood (21.8 ppg) is also off to an outstanding start, and Cook (12.6 ppg) has handed out 35 assists while committing only seven turnovers. Rasheed Sulaimon, Amile Jefferson and Andre Dawkins are also integral parts of the rotation, as each averages between 8.0 and 9.2 points per game.
Duke has been rolling over inferior competition at home here in the early going, and not much is expected to change in this one as the Cameron Crazies will be out in full force to see the Blue Devils' win streak continue.