Purdue vs Duke

Singler, Scheyer heat up as Duke moves on to Elite Eight

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HOUSTON -- Duke is done answering questions about its sooner-than-expected exits from the NCAA tournament.

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Duke-Purdue

Gary Parrish
With injured forward Robbie Hummel back in the fold next year, count on Purdue making the Final four. Read more

Blue Devils move on

Coach K on victory

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The top-seeded Blue Devils are back in the round of eight for the first time since 2004, with Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer helping them pull away in the second half Friday night for a 70-57 win over Purdue in the South Regional semifinals.

Singler scored 24 points and Scheyer added 18, snapping out of a shooting slump just in time.

The Blue Devils (32-5) had lost in the round of 16 in three of the past five seasons, leading to rumblings about whether the mighty program was losing its edge. Now, they stand one victory from their 11th Final Four appearance under coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Coach K snapped at a reporter who referred to the Blue Devils' recent run of early exits as "meltdowns."

"What is a meltdown?" Krzyzewski said. "I want to know what a meltdown is. Somebody losing? I don't know what a meltdown is."

Duke kept marching through the NCAA tournament while other favorites are falling by the wayside. The Blue Devils and Kentucky are the only No. 1 seeds left after Kansas and Syracuse were upset.

Duke will play third-seeded Baylor in Sunday's regional final. The Blue Devils have reached the Final Four in 10 of the last 11 times they've advanced this far.

"It feels good, but we really can't relax at all," Scheyer said. "It's really important to refocus. We can't enjoy wins right now. After the season, we can look back and enjoy them. But for us, we want to keep moving forward."

Scheyer, Duke's leading scorer, was 5-for-18 from the field in Duke's first two NCAA tournament games. He went 5-for-9 in the second half after missing his first six shots and also went 7 for 8 from the foul line.

It was 31-all with 15½ minutes left before the Blue Devils broke away.

Brian Zoubek grabbed 14 rebounds and Duke dominated the undersized Boilermakers inside, as expected. The absence of injured do-everything forward Robbie Hummel finally caught up with fourth-seeded Purdue (29-6), which lost in the regional semifinals for the second straight season.

Hummel tore his right ACL in late February and watched Friday's loss in street clothes from the bench.

JaJuan Johnson scored 23 points and E'Twaun Moore added 18 for the Boilermakers. No other Purdue player reached double figures and the team shot 37 percent (20 of 54).

"This team had a great season," Johnson said. "We had a lot of adversity but this team never quit. When a lot of people counted us out, we just moved forward. I think this team just did a good job of coming together through adversity."

Coach K watched the game from a stool on the raised floor, a few feet above the Duke bench, and had a front-row seat to a rough first half.

The Blue Devils missed 22 of 29 shots, had 11 turnovers and led 24-23 only because of a 29-13 edge in rebounding. Scheyer was 0-for-6 from the field, continuing his slump after going 1 for 11 in Duke's second-round win over California.

Singler characterized both teams' struggles in the half when he went for a dunk in the last minute and the ball got stuck between the rim and the glass.

Scheyer swished a 3 from the wing with 17:52 left, and Krzyzewski leaped up and punched the air, a sign of how much the shot meant to both the team and its leading scorer.

"That was a huge 3, him to finally see something go in," said Nolan Smith, who scored 15 points. "That got him going. Now he's ready. See it go in the hole, you get confidence."

But Moore hit a straight-on 3 about two minutes later to tie it at 31. Duke started to build a lead after that, and Singler's 3-pointer with 11:55 left put the Blue Devils up 40-35.

Chris Kramer, Purdue's top 1-on-1 defender, plowed into Zoubek, who was setting a screen, about a minute later and crumpled to the floor. He seemed dizzy and needed help as he walked off the floor.

Purdue cut it to two before Smith scored seven straight points, finishing the one-man spurt with a 3-pointer with 7:58 to go. Smith held his follow-through as the Blue Devils' bench erupted, sensing that the stubborn Boilermakers were finally breaking.

"We've been in some tough games throughout the year," Scheyer said. "So when we look at each other, we know what we need to do as a team."

The Boilermakers had to adjust on the fly after Hummel went down, and had won five of seven games since his injury. They simply ran out of offensive options against the Blue Devils' defense and dropped to 0-5 against No. 1 seeds in the tournament.

Baylor will likely have more fan support on Sunday. Fans in green and gold filled all but one section of Reliant Stadium for the opener.

Duke has history on its side -- the Blue Devils are 40-8 as a No. 1 seed in the tournament and have reached the Final Four in five of the 11 times they've earned a top seed.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scoreboard
Purdue #4233457
Duke #1 «244670
PUR:JaJuan Johnson 23 Pts
PUR:JaJuan Johnson 5 Reb
PUR:Keaton Grant 4 Ast
DUKE:Kyle Singler 24 Pts
DUKE:Brian Zoubek 14 Reb
DUKE:Jon Scheyer 4 Ast

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Prospect Profile: Harry Giles
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PLAYERS OF THE GAME
DukePurdue
DUKE
Kyle Singler
PUR
JaJuan Johnson
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
24812350
Purdue Boilermakers
E. Moore, G367-182-241118
C. Kramer, G320-50-14120
K. Grant, G302-80-03456
J. Johnson, F-C3010-173-650323
L. Jackson, G220-10-01420
D. Byrd, G180-35-70235
K. Barlow, F141-13-43015
P. Bade, F100-00-01030
R. Smith, G70-10-11010
M. Wohlford, G10-00-00000
S. Marcius, FDid Not Play
S. Loveless, GDid Not Play
R. Hummel, FDid Not Play
J. Hart, GDid Not Play
B. Day, GDid Not Play
K. Coleman, GDid Not Play
D. Anthrop, GDid Not Play
Totals 20-5413-2122122157
 37.0%61.9% 
Duke Blue Devils
K. Singler, F397-166-881324
J. Scheyer, G385-157-854218
N. Smith, G387-170-054115
L. Thomas, F310-21-25231
B. Zoubek, C241-22-214054
M. Plumlee, F152-30-07044
M. Plumlee, F90-02-21022
A. Dawkins, G40-00-00000
J. Davidson, G10-00-00000
R. Kelly, F10-02-20002
S. Curry, GDid Not Play
O. Czyz, FDid Not Play
S. Johnson, FDid Not Play
C. Peters, GDid Not Play
Totals 22-5520-2445112070
 40.0%83.3% 
Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Wisconsin16-236-44
Maryland14-428-713
Michigan St.12-627-1223
Iowa12-622-1243
Purdue12-621-1355
Ohio St.11-724-1141
Indiana9-920-1461
Illinois9-919-1473
Michigan8-1016-1680
Minnesota6-1218-1598
Northwestern6-1215-17124
Nebraska5-1313-18158
Penn St.4-1418-16108
Rutgers2-1610-22179

ACC
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Virginia16-230-47
Duke15-335-46
Notre Dame14-432-616
Louisville12-627-921
N. Carolina11-726-1211
Miami (Fla.)10-825-1365
NC State10-822-1439
Syracuse9-918-1369
Pittsburgh8-1019-1576
Clemson8-1016-15106
Florida St.8-1017-16110
Wake Forest5-1313-19150
Boston College4-1413-19165
Georgia Tech3-1512-19153
Va. Tech2-1611-22228
 
Other games
Tenn 76 Final
Ohio St 73
STMA 49 Final
Baylor 72
N Iowa 52 Final
Mich St 59