Propelled by the hot shooting of AJ Griffin and Paolo Banchero, No. 7 Duke survived a determined challenge from Miami in an 80-76 ACC tournament semifinal victory Friday night in New York.
Wendell Moore Jr. was clutch down the stretch, scoring eight of his 17 points in the final six minutes as top-seeded Duke (28-5) advanced to the ACC championship game on Saturday night. Their opponent will be the winner of Friday’s late game between Virginia Tech and North Carolina.
Banchero made 8 of 10 shots in delivering 18 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, while his freshman classmate Griffin scored 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds.
In avenging a regular-season home loss to the Hurricanes, the Blue Devils shot 50 percent from the floor and won the battle of the boards 40-31.
Kameron McGusty had 24 points and seven rebounds to lead fourth-seeded Miami (23-10). Jordan Miller added 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Charlie Moore provided 15 points and eight assists for the Hurricanes.
Miami led by 11 points early in the game, but late in the first half Griffin scored 12 points in a span of less than five minutes as Duke forged a 36-36 tie at the break.
In the second half, back-to-back 3-pointers by Griffin and Wendell Moore Jr. earned the lead for Duke, 42-38.
The Blue Devils led by seven points midway through the second half, but the Hurricanes went on a 10-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer by McGusty to get the lead, 62-61, with 6:05 left. It remained tight until the end, although McGusty was called for traveling on a key possession with 47 seconds left.
Duke took control over the final minute as Wendell Moore Jr. made 4-of-4 free throws and Griffin dropped 3 of 4 from the line.
Miami got off to a hot start, making four 3-pointers in the first 6:04. Moore hit the first two and Anthony Walker made the fourth, giving the Hurricanes an 18-7 lead. But Banchero, who made his first five shots, answered as he scored nine points in a 15-4 run as Duke forged a 22-22 tie.
–Field Level Media