Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

March 5, 2013

Curry leads No. 3 Duke past Va Tech, 85-57

DURHAM, N.C.  — Seth Curry scored 20 points in his final home game and No. 3 Duke pulled away to beat Virginia Tech 85-57 on Tuesday night.

Fellow senior Ryan Kelly added 18 points in his second straight strong performance since coming back from an injury for the Blue Devils (26-4, 13-4 Atlantic Coast Conference).

They shot nearly 52 percent yet struggled for a while before outscoring the Hokies 32-10 during the final 12-plus minutes to finish unbeaten at home for the 17th time in school history.

Erick Green scored 25 points on 10 of 19 shooting to lead Virginia Tech (13-17, 4-13), which hasn’t beaten a team in the upper half of the league standings all season.

But for much of the game, Green and the Hokies found a way to keep pace with Duke. Jarell Eddie’s jumper with 12 1/2 minutes left pulled Virginia Tech to 53-47.

But Kelly capped Duke’s next possession with an extraordinary effort to stick back a rebound after Tyler Thornton had a shot blocked. That started a game-ending run in which the Blue Devils scored on 15 of their final 16 possessions and included curtain calls for the three seniors — Curry, Mason Plumlee and Kelly.

The Blue Devils improved to 17-0 this season with Kelly — who missed nearly two months with a right foot injury before coming back to score 36 points last time out in his first game back, a 79-76 victory over then-No. 5 Miami three nights earlier.

Plumlee and Quinn Cook each finished with 14 points while Curry — the son of former Virginia Tech and NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry — hit five of Duke’s 12 3-pointers in his final regularly scheduled game against his dad’s alma mater.

There were traps aplenty in this one for the Blue Devils, who had a tough time generating the same high level of emotional energy that they had against the Hurricanes.

Couple that with rival North Carolina looming ahead this weekend, and it might have been easy for Duke to look past a last-place Virginia Tech team that the Blue Devils had beaten by 32 a few weeks earlier in Blacksburg.

Cameron was energized for the Senior Night festivities — but not much else — after that during a first half surprisingly led for much of the way by the Hokies. Duke outscored Virginia Tech 26-11 during a 9-minute stretch to turn a seven-point deficit into an eight-point lead, but led just 38-35 at the end of a sluggish first half. Duke pushed its lead to 12 slightly over 4 minutes into the second half on a Curry 3 before Green briefly brought the Hokies right back.

Eddie finished with 13 points on 3-of-10 shooting for Virginia Tech.

No. 24 Notre Dame 66, St. John’s 40

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Jerian Grant had 21 points and eight assists, Eric Atkins added 15 points and No. 24 Notre Dame held St. John’s to 18 percent shooting in the second half in a 66-40 victory Tuesday night.

The Fighting Irish (23-7, 11-6 Big East) ended a three-game losing streak to the Red Storm (16-13, 8-9), who lost for the fifth time in six games. Notre Dame’s Cameron Biedscheid and Sir’Dominic Pointer of the Red Storm got in a skirmish with 1:46 left in the game. Both players were given technicals and ejected.

Jack Cooley, who only played 15 minutes was held scoreless Saturday against Marquette because of an illness, went 0 for 2 in the first half against St. John’s before scoring 12 points in the second half. He had 13 rebounds in his final home game.

JaKarr Sampson had 12 points and Phil Greene added 10 for the Red Storm, who finished with 10 blocked shots.

St. John’s athleticism gave the Irish problems early as the Red Storm outscored the Irish 14-4 in the paint in the first half and had six blocked shots as they took a seven-point lead late in the first half. But the Irish shot their way out of it, making 68 percent of their shots in the second half after shooting 28 percent in the first half.

After the Red Storm took a 28-24 lead on a rebound basket by Jamal Branch, Pat Connaughton hit a jumper then made two free throws moments later to ignite an 11-2 run. Tom Knight muscled up over two Red Storm defenders and Connaughton scored again inside before Grant and Atkins capped the run with 3-pointers to give the Irish a 38-30 lead.

Cooley scored twice inside, the second turned into a three-point play when he was fouled. Grant then hit a 17-foot jumper and a 3-pointer to give the Irish a 48-34 lead.

The Irish continued to pull away, extending the lead to 66-38 on two 3-pointers by Grant.

Notre Dame, which was 1 of 9 from 3-point range in a 67-63 loss to the Red Storm in January, finished 8 of 17.

Notre Dame has won eight straight final home games.

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