Durham, N.C. – Before Ty Jerome hit the shot that effectively beat No. 4 Duke, the Virginia guard stole the ball.
It figures. For the second-ranked Cavaliers, even their daggers trace back to that punishing defense.
Virginia beat the Blue Devils 65-63 on Saturday after Jerome hit a critical 3-pointer with 37.6 seconds to play.
Kyle Guy scored 17 points and hit two free throws with 6.1 seconds left, Jerome finished with 13 points and Devon Hall had 14 points to help the Cavaliers (20-1, 9-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) win their 12th straight and their first at Cameron Indoor Stadium since 1995.
“They find ways,” coach Tony Bennett said. “They’re a team that’s a joy to coach because they’re pretty clear who they are, and it doesn’t matter who’s hitting the shots.”
The nation’s stingiest defense held the top offense in Division I to more than 28 points below its average of 91.7 points. Virginia, which entered allowing an average of 51.6 points, held the freshmen-dominated Blue Devils 15 points below their previous season-low point total.
“I was a freshman once, and you’re not really prepared for this type of pressure that we put on the ball and our defense,” Guy said.
Marvin Bagley III had 30 points and 14 rebounds, while Wendell Carter Jr. had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Blue Devils (18-3, 6-3).
Jerome started the key sequence by stealing freshman Trevon Duval’s long pass in the Duke frontcourt, then ended it with a 3 with the shot clock winding down that put Virginia up 63-58. Both he and Guy made things tense by missing the front ends of one-and-ones in the final minute.
Bagley swished a deep 3 with 7.4 seconds remaining before Duke fouled Guy again, and this time he hit both attempts to make it 65-61 and effectively seal it. Bagley added a layup at the buzzer.
The Cavaliers more than justified their No. 2 ranking and their status as the ACC’s team to beat by coming into Cameron and winning for the first time in more than two decades. This certainly counts as the marquee road victory their resume perhaps may have lacked, and Bennett says his team’s lone loss – last month at No. 7 West Virginia – helped in preparing for this one.
“That’s why we play those West Virginia games,” Bennett said. “A West Virginia-type game, not finishing out, I think that all adds to a successful element today.”
The Blue Devils leaned heavily on their starters – using zero substitutes in the second half and playing two reserves, Javin Delaurier and Alex O’Connell, for a total of six minutes all day. It’s fair to wonder if they ran out of gas down the stretch. Bagley was the only Duke player to hit a field goal in the final 8 minutes.
“If we want to win something really big, your best players have to play a lot of minutes,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “And I think that’s what the regular season’s about, is preparing for – hopefully, we’re in it in March. So I think we learned a lot.”
More Top 25
(At) No. 5 Kansas 79, Texas A&M 68: Svi Mykhailiuk poured in 24 points, Malik Newman added 15 and Kansas built a big first-half lead before sustaining it most of the way.
Lagerald Vick added 10 points, and Udoka Azubuike had a couple of rim-rattling dunks, as the Jayhawks (17-4) won their fourth straight in the Big 12-SEC Challenge and 10th in a row over the Aggies.
Tyler Davis had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead Texas A&M (13-8), which dug a 45-27 halftime hole and only managed to climb about halfway out of it over the final 20 minutes.
Kentucky 83, (at) No. 7 West Virginia 76: Freshman forward Kevin Knox scored 19 of his season-high 34 points in the second half and Kentucky overcame a 17-point deficit to beat West Virginia in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
Hamidou Diallo added 13 points for Kentucky (16-5), which made all 18 of its free throw attempts after halftime.
Knox offset a strong performance from Jevon Carter, who finished with 26 points for West Virginia (16-5). James “Beetle” Bolden added 17 points.
No. 9 Cincinnati 62, (at) Memphis 48: Gary Clark had 18 points and nine rebounds, Jacob Evans added 14 points and Cincinnati beat Memphis for uts 12th straight victory.
The Bearcats (19-2, 8-0 American Athletic Conference) used a stingy defense to hold Memphis to 31.1 percent shooting for the game, including converting only three of 17 shots from outside the arc.
Jeremiah Martin led the Tigers (13-8, 4-4) with 20 points.
(At) N.C. State 95, No. 10 North Carolina 91, OT: Allerik Freeman scored a career-high 29 points and hit seven of North Carolina State’s 15 3-pointers in the overtime victory over North Carolina.
Omer Yurtseven added 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Wolfpack (15-7, 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference). That included a huge putback with 30.9 seconds left in the overtime and his team up a point.
Markell Johnson sealed the win with two free throws with 3.0 seconds left, capping his own big day with 20 points and 11 assists. And that added UNC to the Wolfpack’s list of upsets under first-year coach Kevin Keatts, headlined by Arizona and Duke when each was ranked No. 2.
Luke Maye had 31 points and 12 rebounds for UNC (16-6, 5-4).
(At) No. 11 Arizona 74, Utah 73: Dusan Ristic scored 23 points and made all three of his 3-point attempts, including a key one in the final two minutes, to help Arizona hold off Utah.
Arizona (18-4, 8-1 Pac-12) had a four-point lead after Ristic hit two free throws, but Utah’s Justin Bibbins hit a 3-pointer with 4.3 seconds left. Arizona’s Allonzo Trier was called for an offensive foul before the ball was inbounded and Utah (12-9, 4-5) got the ball inside to Donnie Tillman, who was unable to hit a contested shot. Arizona’s Keanu Pinder missed a free throw with 0.3 seconds left, and David Collette was well short on a desperation shot from the opposite free throw line.
Sedrick Barefield led the Utes with 26 points.
(At) Alabama 80, No. 12 Oklahoma 73: Freshman Collin Sexton scored 18 points, Herbert Jones added 14 and Alabama beat Oklahoma in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
Alabama (14-7) did a terrific defensive job on Oklahoma freshman sensation Trae Young, who scored just 17 points on 6-of-17 shooting. It was only the second time this season Young – who came into the game leading the nation with more than 30 points per game – was held under 20 points.
Khadeem Lattin led the Sooners (15-5) with 18 points.
No. 14 Texas Tech 70, (at) South Carolina 63: Keenan Evans scored 31 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:12 left, to lift Texas Tech over South Carolina in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
Texas Tech (17-4) outscored South Carolina (13-8) 17-5 over the final six minutes.
Chris Silva led the Gamecocks with 16 points.
(At) No. 15 Gonzaga 82, San Francisco 73: Killian Tillie and Johnathan Williams each scored 16 points as Gonzaga held off San Francisco.
Rui Hachimura added 14 points for Gonzaga (19-4, 9-1 West Coast Conference), which has won three in a row following a rare conference home loss to No. 16 Saint Mary’s.
Frankie Ferrari and Jordan Ratinho had 15 points apiece for San Francisco (12-11, 4-6).
Gonzaga made its final 14 free throws to hold off the Dons.
(At) No. 19 Auburn 95, LSU 70: Mustapha Heron had 21 points on 8-for-10 shooting and Auburn maintained sole possession of first place in the Southeastern Conference.
Heron also had eight rebounds. DeSean Murray had 18 points and eight rebounds, and Bryce Brown scored 15 points for Auburn (19-2, 7-1).
Duop Reath led LSU (12-8, 3-5) with 18 points.
(At) No. 20 Florida 81, Baylor 60: Chris Chiozza scored 20 points, including 13 straight late in the first half, and Florida beat Baylor in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
Jalen Hudson added 17 points for the Gators (15-6). They bounced back from a midweek loss to South Carolina to win for the ninth time in their last 11 games.
Terry Maston led Baylor (12-9) with 14 points.
(At) No. 21 Arizona State 80, Colorado 66: Tra Holder and Shannon Evans each sank four 3-pointers in the second half as Arizona State pulled away to beat Colorado.
The Sun Devils (16-5, 4-5 Pac-12) were 0 for 10 on 3s in a first half that ended tied at 32. But Arizona State made 10 of 21 from long range in the second half, led by two guards who rarely had their shooting touch working on the same night in recent weeks. Holder scored 18 of his 22 points after halftime, going 4 of 6 on 3s. Evans scored 13 of his 19 in the final 20 minutes, also making 4 of 6 from 3-point range.
Dominique Collier scored 11 points for the Buffaloes (12-10, 4-6), who lost their third straight Pac-12 game.
No. 22 Tennessee 68, (at) Iowa State 45: Reserve Lamonte Turner scored 20 points, James Daniel III had 16 and Tennessee rolled past Iowa State in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge for its sixth win in seven games.
Admiral Schofield had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Volunteers (15-5). Donovan Jackson had 13 points for the Cyclones (11-9). They were held to their lowest scoring output of the season.
(At) No. 24 Rhode Island 61, Duquesne 58: Stanford Robinson hit a 3-point shot as time expired to give Rhode Island its 12th straight victory and 17th in a row in the Atlantic 10.
Matthews led Rhode Island (17-3, 9-0) with 20 points, Jared Terrell added 12, and Robinson had seven.
Rene Castro-Cannedy led the Dukes (14-8, 5-4) with 16 points.
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