Duke can’t handle Brown in 55-50 loss at Miami

Miami's Bruce Brown reacts after a play goes against Duke during the first half at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla.
Miami's Bruce Brown reacts after a play goes against Duke during the first half at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla. TNS

No. 10 Duke fell to Miami for the third time in the last six meetings on Saturday.

Miami’s Bruce Brown nailed two free throws and scored off an inbounds pass in the final minute to seal a 55-50 win for the Hurricanes (20-8, 10-6 ACC), who’ve won four straight.

The loss eliminates Duke (22-7, 10-6) from the ACC regular-season title hunt, and the Blue Devils will return to Cameron Indoor Stadium to host Florida State on Tuesday.

Freshman forward Harry Giles, who missed two free throws with 37.7 seconds left, got his first start since Duke last played Miami on Jan 21, in place of injured junior Grayson Allen (ankle). It was Allen’s third missed game of the year. He and veteran forward Amile Jefferson (foot) have been banged up for the last few games.

Senior guard Matt Jones and freshman guard Frank Jackson were the two who most initiated Duke’s offense without Allen, the starting point guard who averages 15 points and a team-best 3.9 assists.

Off the bench, Jackson scored 16 points and had six assists in 29 minutes.

Luke Kennard also added 16, and Duke shot 31.8 percent from the floor. Kennard hit a triple with 5.9 seconds left to bring Duke to within 53-50, but a Brown breakaway basket sealed it.

Brown, who caused fits for the Blue Devils, was the lone double-figure scorer at halftime with 13. He finished with a game-best 25, coming up with big shots in the second half.

A Ja’Quan Newton layup in the final seconds of the first half captured the lead and deflated the Blue Devils.

They came out and missed their first five shots of the second half before a long Matt Jones basket quenched the drought.

Luke Kennard’s 3-pointer from the left wing cut Miami’s lead to 37-32 at 11:35, and he battled for a rebound on other end and drew the foul to capture some momentum for the Blue Devils nearly 10 minutes into the second half.

Consecutive 3-pointers from Jackson helped stabilize Duke and bring it to within 39-38, forcing a Miami timeout with 8:55 showing. He nailed a free throw to tie the score on the next possession.

A Jones layup tied the score at 43-43 late, but Davon Reed executed a three-point play that had the Miami crowd on its feet with 4:13 left.

Down three with 1:45 left, a Tatum 3-point try bounced off the iron as the pressure heated up. Jones tried another long basket, but Netwon ripped down a decisive defensive rebound.

Brown fouled Kennard on a 3 with 29.8 seconds left, and he made two to reach the 1,000-point threshold.

Jessika Morgan: 919-829-4538, @JessikaMorgan