(5) Miami (FL) 76

(23-5, 14-2 ACC)

(3) Duke 79

(25-4, 12-4 ACC)

    Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

    6:00 PM ET, March 2, 2013

    Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, North Carolina

    1 2 T
    #5MIA 36 4076
    #3DUKE 34 4579

    Top Performers

    Miami (FL): S. Larkin 25 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast

    Duke: R. Kelly 36 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Ryan Kelly erupts for 36 points in return as Duke holds off Miami

    Associated Press

    DURHAM, N.C. -- Ryan Kelly had waited two months for the chance to help his Duke teammates reclaim the form that made them the nation's top-ranked team.

    He returned with a stunning performance that shook up No. 5 Miami and left his own Hall of Fame coach struggling for the right words.

    The senior scored a career-high 36 points in his return from a foot injury that had sidelined him since January, helping the third-ranked Blue Devils beat the Hurricanes 79-76 on Saturday night in a matchup of the Atlantic Coast Conference's top teams.

    "I guess I was ready for it," Kelly said. "That's all I can say."

    Kelly knocked down 10-of-14 shots -- including 7-of-9 3-pointers -- for the Blue Devils (25-4, 12-4 ACC), who avenged a blowout road loss in January by grinding out a tough win in Cameron Indoor Stadium. He also went 9 for 12 from the foul line and pulled down seven rebounds in 32 minutes.

    It left Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski joking to reporters that he was interested to read how they'd describe Kelly's big night.

    "I mean, me saying 'spectacular' or whatever doesn't do his performance justice," Krzyzewski said. "One for the ages. Probably as good a performance as any player has had -- a Duke player has had -- in Cameron."

    Kelly's performance was the highlight of a game that certainly lived up to the teams' lofty rankings and their status as the league's best. Miami led by seven in the first half and by two at the break, while Duke never led by more than five until the final 3 minutes.

    Quinn Cook added 15 points, including a 3-pointer that gave Duke a 10-point lead with 1:55 left.

    But the Hurricanes (23-5, 14-2) made a frantic rally and missed two 3s in the final seconds to tie it. Shane Larkin came up short on the first over Kelly. Durand Scott ran down the rebound and fired a pass to the left corner to Rion Brown, whose final 3 clanged off the rim as the horn sounded.

    Kelly's season-high was 22 points and his career-best was 23 points before Saturday. He had missed 13 straight games with the right foot injury, though he had been gradually increasing his work in practice in recent days before going right back in the starting lineup Saturday.

    "I just knew I was going to play my hardest," Kelly said. "Honestly, though, more than anything it was just going to be whether I could hold up with my breathing. I haven't played any games in a long time, and being in a game is a lot different from being in practice or anything you can do. But I think I held up all right."

    He missed a 3 on Duke's first possession, but knocked one down 2 1/2 minutes in and never looked rusty.

    "Well, I thought we prepared for Ryan Kelly but obviously not for that Ryan Kelly," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. "He was sensational from start to finish."

    Miami had beaten Duke 90-63 in January and had already clinched at least a share of the ACC regular-season title with the Blue Devils' loss at Virginia on Thursday night. Miami will win its first ACC crown outright by beating either Georgia Tech or Clemson at home this week.

    But Saturday's game was about more than just the league standings or the chance to avenge that blowout loss for the Blue Devils. Rather, this was their chance to reclaim some momentum for March with Kelly's return.

    "The thing (the win) does for us is it gives us a chance over the next few weeks to transition to the NCAA tournament," Krzyzewski said. "We're just running a little bit different race than anybody else right now. And it doesn't mean everything's OK, but it's a lot better."

    Coach K I mean, me saying 'spectacular' or whatever doesn't do his performance justice. One for the ages. Probably as good a performance as any player has had -- a Duke player has had -- in Cameron.

    -- Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski
    on Ryan Kelly

    Duke was unbeaten with nonconference wins against Kentucky, Louisville and Ohio State when Kelly went down against Clemson in January. It was during Kelly's absence that Duke suffered a 27-point loss at Miami on Jan. 23, a game that saw the Hurricanes romping unchecked through Duke's passive defense and even slapping the floor in an apparent jab at the Blue Devils' tradition.

    The 6-foot-11 forward was averaging 13 points and five rebounds, and stretched defenses with his outside shot to open space for Mason Plumlee inside.

    Fittingly, he started the spurt that finally put the Blue Devils ahead for good. First he hit a pair of free throws, then knocked down a 3-pointer over Kenny Kadji with the shot clock winding down to push Duke to a 58-56 lead with 9:13 left. Plumlee followed with a short hook to cap the 7-0 run for a 60-56 edge.

    Duke extended its lead with another 7-0 burst, with freshman Rasheed Sulaimon scoring a pair of driving baskets before Cook's 3 that appeared to have Duke in control.

    Miami fought back, getting a 3-pointer from Trey McKinney Jones to make it a one-possession game with 1:06 left. But in addition to those late misses, Larkin also had a costly turnover when he threw away a sideline pass to Brown with Miami trailing by just two with about 30 seconds left.

    "This is the type of game that everybody lives for," said Scott, who scored 12 for the Hurricanes. "You can't really get mad at this. We went out there, we played our hardest, we're proud of ourselves, and our team did the best that we could. We just fell short a 3."

    Duke shot 52 percent, with Kelly's big day offsetting Seth Curry's struggles (seven points on 2-for-8 shooting) and Miami's domination on the boards that led to a 20-4 edge in second-chance points.

    Larkin scored 25 points to lead Miami, while Kenny Kadji added 17 points and 10 rebounds. But big man Reggie Johnson had a miserable night by going scoreless on 0-for-5 shooting and picking up his fourth foul in the first minute after halftime.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 76 79
    FG Made-Attempted 28-64 (.438) 26-50 (.520)
    3P Made-Attempted 6-21 (.286) 11-23 (.478)
    FT Made-Attempted 14-17 (.824) 16-26 (.615)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 7 10

    2012-13 Season

    Jan 23, 2013 @MIA 90, DUKE 63Recap
    » Mar 2, 2013 @DUKE 79, MIA 76Recap

    Research Notes

    Ryan Kelly outscored Miami 23-22 on shot attempts from 15 feet or further Saturday. The Hurricanes shot 50.0 percent and outscored Duke by 17 points on such attempts in their win on Jan. 23.
    Duke shot 44.8 percent on shots attempted from at least 15 feet Saturday, after shooting 14.3 percent on such attempts in its loss at Miami on Jan. 23. Ryan Kelly made eight shots from 15 or more feet Saturday, double the amount the entire Duke team made in its first game against Miami.
    Duke outscored Miami by six points with Ryan Kelly on the court Saturday, and scored 1.23 points per possession in the 32 minutes that Kelly played.
    Ryan Kelly scored 36 points in his return from injury, becoming one of 11 players to score at least 35 points in a win over a Top-5 team over the last 15 seasons.

    ESPN Stats & Information