ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Duke rallies to beat Ohio State, 73-68

lkeeley@newsobserver.comNovember 29, 2012 

— For the majority of the game, it appeared No. 4 Ohio State’s first trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium would end with a Buckeyes victory.

But thanks to timely sharpshooting from Ryan Kelly behind the arc, another double-double from Mason Plumlee and 17 second-half points from Rasheed Sulaimon, No. 2 Duke was able to rally for a 73-68 win. Duke has won 97 straight non-conference games - the longest active streak in the nation.

Plumlee finished with 21 points and 17 rebounds. He was also 9-of-12 from the free throw line, including two key makes to put Duke ahead 60-56 with 2 minutes remaining in the game. Kelly contributed 15 and was 3-of-5 from 3-point range.

A Kelly 3-pointer early in the game put Duke ahead 9-7 with 14:38 left in the first half. Duke wouldn’t lead again until Kelly hit another 3 with 5:42 left in the game to put Duke ahead 56-53. The Blue Devils held onto the lead the rest of the way.

“They got knocked back in the first half,” head coach Mike Krzyzewski said, “And then just fought.”

Trailing by a 31-23 margin at the half, Duke (7-0) started its comeback at the beginning of the second period.

Two high-energy dunks from Mason Plumlee kept the energy high for Cameron Indoor early in the second half. Plumlee saved an errant ally-oop pass from Cook with his long reach and slammed it home one-handed to cut the lead to 33-27. Ohio State head coach Thad Matta called a timeout, and the Buckeyes' Evan Ravenel converted an easy bucket after the break. (This article continues below the video.)

A few minutes later, a Cook steal ended up in Plumlee’s hands and then in the basket, making it 37-32. A Ryan Kelly fade-away jumper from the paint brought Duke within three points on the next possession.

Ohio State (4-1) appeared to grab back momentum after the media timeout at the 14:18 mark as Sam Thompson responded with his second dunk of the half and Deshaun Thomas hit a 3 to push the lead to 42-34. But Rasheed Sulaimon scored on an off-balance jumper from the paint, and Cook got a tough lay-up to hit high off the glass and fall through, and Duke was back within four points, trailing 42-38 with 11:55 to go.

Duke was able to make it a one-possession game again after Seth Curry hit his first field goal of the game to cut it to 46-44 with 9:58 left in the game. Plumlee answered an Aaron Craft jumper with a hook shot, and it was 48-46 Ohio State with 8:40 remaining.

A Deshaun Thomas 3-pointer extended the Buckeyes' lead to 51-46.

Duke continued to chip away at the lead. Sulaimon hit a 3-pointer with 6:45 left to make it a one-point game at 51-50. A Ryan Kelly 3 on Duke’s next possession tied the game at 53-53.

Kelly hit another 3 on the ensuing possession to put Duke ahead 56-53 with 5:42 left in the game. It was the Blue Devils’ first lead since Kelly’s first-half 3 made it 9-7 with 14:38 left in the first half.

“Ryan doesn’t get all the credit he deserves,” Quinn Cook said. “He’s been working on his jumpers.”

Craft hit one of two free throws on Ohio State’s next possession, and a Cook lay-up that rimmed out was stuffed home by Plumlee to give Duke a two-possession lead at 58-54.

A Craft jumper pulled Ohio State back within two points at 58-56, but after Plumlee made two free throws and Craft went 1-for-2 on his attempts, Cook drove the lane to put Duke ahead 62-57 with 1:31 left in the game.

Thomas was called for goaltending on a Sulaimon shot on Duke’s next possession, and the Blue Devils led 64-57. A Sulaimon dunk with a minute remaining appeared to seal the game, but six free throws from Quinn Cook and one from Plumlee in the final 27 seconds fended off a late Buckeyes' run.

The win was Duke’s third victory over a top-five opponent this season.


-- Shannon Scott, the son of UNC great Charlie Scott, played well in his first game in Cameron. With Dad looking on from behind the bench, Scott scored five points and played 20 minutes off the bench in relief of Aaron Craft, who found himself in early foul trouble.

-- This was Duke’s fourth game in seven days. The opponents - Minnesota, VCU, Louisville and Ohio State - have been tough. The players wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We love it, we love the schedule,” Mason Plumlee said. “This is why you come to Duke.”

-- After just two assists in the first half, Duke had eight in the second half. Cook had eight total against just three turnovers.

“Quinn’s emergence is huge,” Mike Krzyzewski said.

Cook also added six defensive rebounds, which helped push the pace in the second half.

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