Connecticut vs Duke

Coach K bests Calhoun, UConn as Duke wins another NIT Tip-Off title wire reports

NEW YORK -- The game that started with more wins between the coaches than any in Division I history was far from an instant classic.

Duke and Connecticut combined to miss a total of 90 shots from the field, and the team that missed more of them rebounded its way to another big win at Madison Square Garden.

Seventh-ranked Duke and Mike Krzyzewski won another NIT Season Tip-Off on Friday with a 68-59 victory over No. 13 Connecticut and Jim Calhoun.

The Hall of Fame coaches set the record for total career wins in a game and Krzyzewski now has 839, fourth on the all-time list, and Calhoun still has 809, good for sixth place.

"It was a big-time game, shots were so hard to come by, open shots. Both teams are very, very good defensively and you know, you get by one guy and it's hard to get to the bucket," Krzyzewski said. "But we rebounded very well and we played outstanding defense."

The Blue Devils (6-0) dominated the Huskies (4-1) in every category except shooting in extending their winning streak in the tournament to 12 games with a third straight title (2000, 2005) and fourth overall (1985).

Duke shot 28.4 percent (21 of 74) compared to Connecticut's 37.3 percent (22 of 59), but the Blue Devils finished with a 56-43 rebound advantage, including 25-14 on the offensive boards.

"We missed 53 shots and we had 56 rebounds, you know?" Krzyzewski said. "It's a very unusual game, but it's a game where both teams played with a lot of heart, and we feel very fortunate to win this game and win the NIT championship."

The victory also snapped Connecticut's four-game winning streak in the series with the last two victories both coming in Final Fours -- the 1999 national championship game and the 2004 semifinals.

It was the first time Duke won a game shooting under 30 percent since a 68-53 victory over Navy on Feb. 4, 1950, when the Blue Devils shot 27.3 percent.

"The last time we lost a game when we held a team to eight field goals in the second half and 28 percent shooting, I can't remember," Calhoun said. "Quite frankly, they outwilled us and did the things you need to do to win a game."

Tournament MVP Jon Scheyer had 19 points to lead Duke, which has won five straight games and 12 of its last 13 at Madison Square Garden. The Blue Devils extended their winning streak in November to 22 games and that will stand for 11 months because their next game is against Wisconsin on Dec. 2.

Nolan Smith had 16 points and Lance Thomas added 11 points and 11 rebounds for Duke, which beat Arizona State 64-53 in the semifinals.

"Our defense was really great and it had to be since we shot the ball so poorly," Scheyer said. "Defense won this game and our big guys rebounded huge for our team."

Jerome Dyson had 15 points and Gavin Edwards added 12 for the Huskies, who beat LSU 81-55 to get to their first championship game in three NIT Season Tip-Off appearances.

"They just wanted the offensive rebounds more than us and that killed us," Dyson said.

Duke was able to take a 37-28 halftime lead with an 8-2 run in an ugly last four minutes. Kyle Singler, who had his second straight poor shooting game, hit a 3 with 4:17 left that gave the Blue Devils a 32-26 lead. That was Duke's last field goal of the half and the Huskies had just one in that span, a drive by Stanley Robinson with 51 seconds left that made it 37-28.

The second half was Duke's in a hurry.

The Blue Devils used a 12-0 run -- during which five players scored -- to go ahead 53-34 with 13:18 to play. Calhoun called two timeouts in a 1:13 span in the run -- he had already called one 1:30 into the half -- to try and slow things down but the Blue Devils were scoring from the perimeter and overpowering the Huskies down low.

Duke finished 6 for 18 from 3-point range while the Huskies didn't make any in four attempts.

"I didn't want them taking 3s," Calhoun said of his team, "I thought we had the quickness to go by them. [Duke] didn't score on nine of 10 trips at one point in the second half but we scored on one of those. They outquicked us to the ball when they needed to get it to the offensive end, which is something that can't happen to us."

The Blue Devils even stayed with Connecticut in blocked shots, not an easy thing to do since the Huskies have led the nation in that stat the last eight seasons -- and they averaged 10.3 coming in. The Huskies blocked 13 in each of their last two games, a total Duke managed in all five games combined. Connecticut finished with nine, two more than the Blue Devils.

"Our big guys were coming over and at least if they didn't take charges, they were trying to take charges and they got a few blocks. They distracted the shooter, kind of like how they did to us," Krzyzewski said of his team's help defense. "I thought shooters in the lane today was not a good place to shoot the ball. There were a lot of distractions defensively being made by both teams for those shooters."

Connecticut did get within single digits with a 12-2 run that made it 62-54 with 52 seconds to play.

"I'm appalled by the lack of rebounding by us as a team," Calhoun said. "You can't beat anybody if they get 25 offensive rebounds. If you hold somebody to 28 percent, you can't lose, but if you give them 25 offensive rebounds and can't make a shot, you can get some problems."

Copyright 2017 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.
Tournament MVP Jon Scheyer leads Duke with 19 points to topple UConn.  (Getty Images)
Tournament MVP Jon Scheyer leads Duke with 19 points to topple UConn. (Getty Images)
Connecticut #13 (4-1)283159
Duke #7 (6-0) «373168
CT:Jerome Dyson 15 Pts
CT:Alex Oriakhi 14 Reb
CT:Kemba Walker 8 Ast
DUKE:Jon Scheyer 19 Pts
DUKE:Brian Zoubek 11 Reb
DUKE:Jon Scheyer 5 Ast

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Jon Scheyer
Jerome Dyson
Connecticut Huskies
J. Dyson, G366-203-950515
S. Robinson, F355-120-140110
K. Walker, G344-121-24859
A. Oriakhi, F-C333-82-414138
C. Okwandu, C241-20-15022
G. Edwards, F-C233-66-650412
D. Beverly, G70-10-00100
J. Coombs-McDaniel, F40-00-00010
D. Smith, G30-03-42103
J. Trice, G10-00-10000
K. Bailey, GDid Not Play
A. Hornat, FDid Not Play
A. Majok, FDid Not Play
J. Mandeldove, CDid Not Play
Totals 22-6115-2839112359
Duke Blue Devils
N. Smith, G405-225-641216
J. Scheyer, G376-185-645219
K. Singler, F312-121-27136
L. Thomas, F292-47-8100511
M. Plumlee, F191-31-26053
B. Zoubek, C221-50-011352
A. Dawkins, G174-61-130011
R. Kelly, F50-20-00010
S. Curry, GDid Not Play
O. Czyz, FDid Not Play
J. Davidson, GDid Not Play
S. Johnson, FDid Not Play
C. Peters, GDid Not Play
M. Plumlee, FDid Not Play
Totals 21-7220-2545102368
Big East
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Seton Hall10-821-1244
St. Johns7-1114-19140

TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
N. Carolina14-433-75
Florida St.12-626-914
Notre Dame12-626-1023
Va. Tech10-822-1148
Miami (Fla.)10-821-1242
Wake Forest9-919-1439
Georgia Tech8-1021-16106
NC State4-1415-17141
Boston College2-169-23219
Other games
MU 79 Final
Michigan 65
Tx A&M 66 Final
W Virg 73
CLEM 87 Final
LB St 79
CLMB 60 Final
Syracuse 85
C of Char 69 Final
Tenn 86
TNTC 75 Final
Kansas 112
Florida 77 Final
Mich St 74
Nwstern 72 Final
ND 58
PORT 61 Final
Minn 56
Utah 60 Final
Illinois 58
UCLA 67 Final
Butler 69