#4 DUKE 70, CLEMSON 59 – Speaking of patterns – Duke has shut teams down with stingy defense all year long and last night was no different as the Blue Devils held Clemson to 25 second half points.
Nolan Smith scored 21 points and Kyle Singler added 18 points and 11 rebounds in their Cameron finale.
“Just knowing that it’s your last time out there, we just wanted to play hard,” Smith said. “They played a tremendous game defensively, being really physical defending us. We had to get tougher, and then there was a point in the game when we all got tougher and made the tough plays in order to win.”
Seth Curry also had 18 points for the Blue Devils (27-3, 13-2 ACC). They overcame a season-high 20 turnovers and never trailed in a physical second half to finish 17-0 at Cameron—their second straight undefeated season at home.
Demontez Stitt scored 14 points to lead the Tigers (19-10, 8-7), who threatened their season low by shooting 30 percent. Still, they managed to keep it within single digits for most of the game and were in it down the stretch despite being held to two field goals in a late 11-minute span.
Duke bounced back from the weekend loss at Virginia Tech by winning their NCAA-best 36th straight home game while claiming their 56th in a row at home against an unranked opponent.
The Blue Devils went 65-2 at Cameron during the careers of Singler and Smith, with the only losses coming during their freshman and sophomore seasons to rival North Carolina. Duke’s record in games Singler has played is 120-21; with Smith on the court, the Blue Devils are 116-20.
Milton Jennings added 10 points and 11 rebounds and Jerai Grant added 11 boards for the Tigers, who were denied their first victory at Cameron since 1995. They’ll enter their regular-season finale against Virginia Tech on Saturday still in contention for a first-round bye in the ACC tournament.