Clemson’s drought in Durham continued Wednesday night as the Tigers dropped a 70-59 decision to the 4th ranked Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Tigers have not won in Durham since 1995. They gave the Blue Devils a battle all night long but the defending national champions, on their Senior Night, hit big shots in the final minutes in beating the Tigers for the third straight time. Clemson falls to 19-10 and 8-7 in the ACC while Duke improves to 27-3 and 13-2 in the league.
The game was tied for a fifth time at 38 with 17:41 to play but Duke went on an 8-0 run to build a working margin it would not relinquish. Clemson got back to within two a 50-48 11:42 left. Duke then put the game away with a 13-4 run for a 63-52 lead with 5:00 left. Seth Curry scored 8 of his 18 points during that stretch to spark the Blue Devils’ run. Clemson would not get closer than six the rest of the way.
Duke led 36-34 at halftime. The Tigers fought their way back from an 11 point deficit late in the half. Duke rolled off 11 straight points to break a 20-20 tie and take a 31-20 lead on a Curry three pointer with 5:23 left in the half.
With the Cameron Crazies at their loudest, the Tigers maintained their composure and put together a 12-0 run capped by a Demontez Stitt jumper for a 32-31 lead with 3:18 left in the half. Ryan Kelly hit a three to give Duke a 34-32 lead but a tipin by Bryan Narcisse tied the game at 34. Two Mason Plumlee free throws gave Duke its halftime margin.
Clemson shot just 30% for the game and only 4-19 from three. The Tigers did force 20 turnovers and had 21 offensive rebounds. That resulted in 17 more shots from the floor. Duke made 42% of its shots and was 7-17 from three. And the Blue Devils hit 19-25 from the line. Clemson was whistled for 24 fouls to Duke’s 15.
Stitt led Clemson with 14 points despite playing with a case of strep throat. Milton Jennings had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Nolan Smith led Duke with 21 points. Kyle Singler had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. And Curry had 18 points.
Clemson will host Virginia Tech Saturday in its final regular season game. The Tigers will finish fourth in the league with a win and earn a first day bye for the ACC Tournament. Duke plays at North Carolina Saturday for the ACC regular season title.