No. 1 Duke Holds Off Michigan
Duke showed Michigan the difference between good and very good. It was a fine line.
Bobby Hurley scored four of his 26 points in overtime on Saturday to lead the top-ranked Blue Devils to an 88-85 victory over the No. 18 Wolverines.
“Our experience made the difference down the stretch,” Duke’s Christian Laettner said. “They’ve never been in a game like this before.”
But you wouldn’t have guessed it by watching.
“You have to marvel at what Michigan did today,” Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Especially in running the half-court offense. Chris Webber’s presence and Jalen Rose’s versatility make them tough to defend.”
But defend is what it’s all about for Duke this season.
The reigning NCAA champions (5-0) scored only one basket in the five-minute overtime, but it was enough to hand Michigan, which starts three members of its five-man rookie class, its first defeat in five games.
“Before the game, I said I didn’t want to play Duke,” Michigan Coach Steve Fisher said. “But that wasn’t true. I really did want to play Duke. And, as great as Duke is, I thought we had a chance to beat them. From that standpoint, I’m very, very disappointed.”
Hurley scored the final points of regulation with 31 seconds to play when he tied the game 76-76 by making three free throws after he was fouled as he attempted a 3-pointer.
“I was hoping the shot would fall, so I would have to shoot three (free throws),” Hurley said. “I looked up at the scoreboard and saw that we needed all three of them.”
Webber almost avoided the overtime, but his shot from beyond midcourt at the buzzer bounced off the rim.
“We should have won the game, we should have won the game,” Webber said over and over. “We’ve been playing against these kids all our life. It’s nothing new. It’s just basketball. They’re playing. They’re just people.
“Coach said we could win. We knew we could win and we gave it our all.”
Rose, who scored four of his 18 points in the overtime, gave Michigan a 78-76 lead 14 seconds into overtime. But Grant Hill made two free throws to tie it and Laettner, who would foul out after scoring 24 points, made two more free throws to put Duke ahead 80-78.
Rose’s last basket tied it again, but Laettner put Duke ahead to stay with two more free throws with 3:09 remaining.
James Voskuil’s basket narrowed the gap to 86-85 with 41 seconds remaining, but Hurley iced it with two more free throws with 14 seconds left as the Blue Devils made their last 15 free throw attempts.
“If we looked bad, Michigan made us look bad,” Krzyzewski said. “They were outstanding on the offensive boards. And in pressure situations, they didn’t wilt.”
Webber, the best of the freshmen who fouled out with 3:48 left in overtime, led all scorers with 27 points and 12 rebounds.
The Blue Devils, who shot 47%, were 31 for 36 at the free throw line. Michigan shot 52%, but made just 14 of 20 free throws.
Michigan, with Webber scoring 12 points, started the second half with a 24-13 spurt to go from 10 points down at halftime to a 57-56 lead with 8:11 left in the game. The Blue Devils went scoreless for 6:22 during that stretch.
The Wolverines switched from their traditional white home uniforms and white sneakers to maize uniforms and black shoes.
With 3:19 left in the half, Fisher had to go on the public address system to ask fans to stop throwing debris on the floor as they were showing their displeasure with a foul call.
Duke, playing without 6-foot-11 freshman Cherokee Parks, who had an ankle injury, led 43-33 at halftime.