Huff plays huge as Virginia beats No. 7 Duke, 52-20
Mamadi Diakite made a short, go-ahead jumper with 37 seconds left and Jay Huff blocked Vernon Carey Jr.’s shot under the basket with 3.7 remaining as Virginia ended a three-game home losing streak against No. 7 Duke with a 52-50 victory on Saturday.
Huff led Virginia (21-7, 13-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) with 15 points, nine rebounds and 10 blocked shots, none bigger than when he rejected Carey’s attempt from in close with the Cavaliers leading 51-50. Huff also ripped the ball away, was fouled and made one of two free throws at the other end.
Tre Jones tried an off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer, but missed, allowing the surging Cavaliers to claim their sixth victory in a row and leap-frog the Blue Devils into third place in the ACC standings with a week left in the regular season.
Carey had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils (23-6, 13-5), who lost their second in a row and for the third time in four games.
The game was tied at 25 at halftime and at 39 and 45, the latter with 4:52 to play, and the teams swapped the lead the rest of the way. Diakite’s short shot gave Virginia the lead for good at 51-50, and Huff’s block on Carey finished a sterling defensive effort.
Duke was 18 for 59 (31%) and 4 for 17 on 3-pointers.
Duke: The Blue Devils came in averaging 83.2 points and having scored at least 63 in every game. They managed just 25 in the first half, but were tied despite Carey playing just nine minutes and No. 3 scorer Cassius Stanley, No. 4 scorer Matthew Hurt and No. 5 scorer Wendell Moore all being scoreless at the break.
Virginia: Turnovers were again a factor for the Cavaliers, who have been prone to more than coach Tony Bennett can accept several times this season. While they lead the nation in scoring defense (52.7), a deliberately paced offense and scoring questions make empty possessions especially difficult to overcome. The Cavaliers had 15 turnovers, but Duke scored just three points off them.
The Blue Devils are at home against N.C. State on Monday night.
The Cavaliers head to Miami for their last road game of the season on Wednesday night.