DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Suddenly, fourth-ranked Duke looks a bit lost. The defense isn’t there. The 3-point shots aren’t falling. And its Hall of Fame coach senses a lack of confidence from his freshman-led team.
Now Mike Krzyzewski will see how his Blue Devils respond to two straight losses, the second ending the program’s long winning streak at its famously hostile arena.
Angel Rodriguez scored 24 points and Miami shot 67 percent after halftime to upset No. 4 Duke 90-74 on Tuesday night, snapping the Blue Devils’ 41-game home winning streak and giving them consecutive regular-season losses for the first time in nearly six years.
“I just have felt since Christmas that there’s something missing with our group, and I’ve said it,” Krzyzewski said. “I’ve said it to the press, I’ve said it to my team. And when you’re still winning, you don’t necessarily believe it completely. But I’ve felt it since Christmas, and I haven’t been able to figure that out, figure out how to change it.
“We’re all on the same page now, after two losses and after getting our butt beat. We didn’t just lose tonight. We got our butts beat tonight.”
Duke (14-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) hadn’t lost at Cameron Indoor Stadium since March 2012 and hadn’t lost consecutive regular-season games since February 2009. It also marked the first time that Duke has lost consecutive games by double-digit margins since March 1996, according to STATS.
It wasn’t that long ago that the Blue Devils were rolling to big wins and looking every bit like the ACC favorite. They also looked like they’d be playing to give Krzyzewski his 1,000th win against Louisville and fellow Hall of Famer Rick Pitino on Saturday.
But Coach K is stuck on 997 after two surprising losses. And much like Sunday’s 87-75 loss at against North Carolina State, the Blue Devils were unable to slow a hot-shooting team nor keep up at their own offensive end.
Manu Lecomte added a career-high 23 points for the Hurricanes (12-4, 2-1), who trailed 35-34 at the break before shooting 18-for-27 after halftime and hitting 6 of 9 3-pointers.
It was a stunningly one-sided show starring a team that lost by 28 points at home to Eastern Kentucky on Dec. 19.
“We were talking from the moment we started preparing to play Duke … about the way they play defense and the way we like to play offense,” Rodriguez said. “We felt like it was a great matchup and they were going to allow us kind of to do what we wanted to do.”
With Miami’s guards going anywhere they wanted, the Hurricanes scored 56 second-half points.
“Our goal was to set at least one if not two or three or four ballscreens on every possession because our guards are best when they’re on the attack,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “We had some success with that and we just tried to keep that going throughout the game.”
Duke hadn’t trailed by more than six before falling behind by 19 at N.C. State. Two nights later, the Blue Devils trailed by 20 late and had fans fleeing for Cameron’s exits with more than a minute left.
Miami: The Hurricanes improved to 3-2 against the Blue Devils under Jim Larranaga. … Miami is 4-13 in the series since joining the ACC. … Miami took control with a 10-0 run, blowing the game open midway through the second half after leading 47-46.
Duke: Quinn Cook scored a team-high 18 points, while Amile Jefferson had 14 points and 12 rebounds. … Duke didn’t get closer than seven in the final 11 minutes. … The Blue Devils finished with a 41-31 rebounding advantage.
Duke freshman big man Jahlil Okafor, a preseason all-American, had 15 points and 15 rebounds while facing another steady stream of defensive double teams. But Duke missed 15 of 21 3-point tries, failing to capitalize when Okafor successfully got the ball out of the trap.
Duke went just 10-for-20 at the foul line, while Miami made 22 of 30. Lecomte hit 10 of 11 to lead Miami, which kept getting to the line thanks to their guards’ dribble penetration.
Miami travels to No. 12 Notre Dame on Saturday.
Duke travels to No. 6 Louisville on Saturday.
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