Recap: Duke vs. Syracuse

The Sports NetworkFebruary 22, 2014 

Durham, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - The anticipated rematch between the most exciting game of the 2013-14 college basketball season produced another thrilling finish, albeit one with considerably more controversy.

Jabari Parker scored 11 of his 19 points in the second half as fifth-ranked Duke got its revenge against suddenly struggling Syracuse with a 66-60 victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium, a win sealed by two technical fouls called on Orange head coach Jim Boeheim in the final seconds.

The Blue Devils were clinging to a 60-58 lead when Syracuse's C.J. Fair drove the baseline and converted a layup while crashing into Duke's Rodney Hood with 10.4 seconds remaining. Fair was called for charging to negate the basket, prompting an enraged Boeheim to storm the court and confront the officiating crew to draw the technicals and trigger an ejection from the contest.

"I'm not surprised to see Jim's fire," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "That's why he is one of the greatest coaches in any sport. He reacted to it. I obviously don't want the game to end that way."

Quinn Cook made three of the four resulting free throws to extend the margin to five points, and Tyler Thornton was fouled after Duke retained possession and hit 1-of-2 from the line to provide the anticlimactic ending.

"I knew they were going to C.J., their best player, and I tried to keep my eye on him, even though I wasn't guarding him," Hood said. "He drove baseline, went left, and I just tried to get there in time."

Parker added 10 rebounds and Hood chipped in 13 points as Duke (22-6, 11-4 ACC), which lost at North Carolina Thursday, dealt top-ranked Syracuse a second straight tough loss. This one was less shocking than the previously unbeaten Orange's 62-59 overtime setback at home to a then six-win Boston College team ranked 195th in the RPI at the time.

"The new rule is it's a block," Boeheim said. "That's the new rule; we've had it explained a hundred times. C.J. got in his motion, I saw the replay, and the guy was moving. Simple as that. It's a new rule, it's a block. I just wanted to see if I still had it in me to get out there, and I did. I got out there pretty good. I thought I was quick, I stayed down. I didn't get injured, so all those things are good. That was the game-decider right there."

Jerami Grant paced Syracuse (25-2, 12-2) with 17 points and eight rebounds, with Fair recording 12 in defeat.

Three weeks after the two powers engaged in a memorable nail-biter that ended in the Orange hanging on for a 91-89 overtime decision at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse's first-ever visit to Cameron Indoor provided plenty of late dramatics as well.

Duke held a 55-49 lead with 4:25 to play when Tyler Ennis and Grant scored on back-to-back possessions, igniting a 7-2 Syracuse run that cut the lead to one on two Trevor Cooney free throws with just over two minutes left.

Parker weaved his way into the lane for a layup on the ensuing possession, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 52 seconds showing. Ennis promptly fed Rakeem Christmas for a dunk that brought the Orange within 59-58 with 36 seconds on the clock.

Syracuse then fouled Rasheed Sulaimon, but the 81 percent free-throw shooter hit just 1-of-2 from the line to put the difference at two points and set the stage for the wild climax.

Duke closed out the first half on a 10-3 spurt to forge a 26-26 tie at the break, and the game remained tight midway through the second period until the Blue Devils began to create some distance.

Up by one with nine minutes to go, Hood knocked down a jumper and Cook hit a key trey to give the Blue Devils their largest lead of the game, 51-45 with 7:45 remaining.

A far more defensively dominated matchup then the previous meeting, the teams traded baskets over the opening four minutes before the Orange strung together the game's first run, a 9-0 spurt in which Duke transfer Michael Gbinije accounted for five points -- capped by a transition three off a Blue Devils' turnover that put Syracuse up 17-8.

Duke answered with a 9-2 flurry that was countered by four straight points from the Orange, but Syracuse made just one basket over the remainder of the half as the Blue Devils closed the gap.

Another Gbinije 3-pointer gave the Orange a 26-21 lead with three minutes left in the period, but Parker buried a trey on the other end and Sulaimon's layup following Thornton's steal pulled Duke even back at the break.

Game Notes

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