No. 6-ranked Duke continued to work wonders with a small lineup, winning its seventh consecutive game and 11th of 12 by defeating No. 8 Clemson, 84-77, Tuesday night at Durham, N.C.
Trajan Langdon scored a career-high 34 points to lead Duke, 22-5 overall and 11-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Blue Devils are now atop the ACC by a full game over No. 4 Wake Forest, which visits No. 12 North Carolina tonight.
Duke, which plays at UCLA Sunday, is assured of at least a third-place ACC finish for the 10th time in the last 12 seasons under Coach Mike Krzyzewski.
The Tigers (20-6, 8-5), who stayed close in the first half by making 13 of 15 free throws, are 4-5 since getting as high as No. 2 in the rankings on Jan. 20.
No. 9 South Carolina 78, Arkansas 65--The Gamecocks (19-6, 12-1) took an early 25-12 lead at Columbia, S.C., and breezed to a Southeastern Conference victory over the Razorbacks (14-9, 7-6) at Columbia, S.C.
It was South Carolina’s 14th victory in 15 games, and its first victory in six games with Arkansas since both joined the SEC in 1991.
No. 11 Cincinnati 97, Houston 64--The Bearcats (20-5, 8-1) reached the 20-win mark for the sixth consecutive season by beating the Cougars (11-12, 3-8) in a Conference USA game at Cincinnati.
Houston never challenged after falling behind 26-13 in the first seven minutes.
Purdue 89, No. 24 Indiana 87--Chad Austin made an off-balance 15-footer with .6 of a second left in overtime as the Boilermakers (14-10, 9-5) completed a season sweep of the Hoosiers (20-8,7-7) in a Big Ten game at Bloomington, Ind.
Austin also made a game-winning shot with 14 seconds left against Indiana last year and scored 25 points in the Boilermakers’ 70-53 victory over the Hoosiers at West Lafayette, Ind., last month.
In the rematch, freshman Brian Cardinal scored a career-high 25 points as Purdue gave Coach Gene Keady his 400th career victory. It also was Keady’s 200th victory in the Big Ten and gave him a 17-17 record against Bob Knight.
Temple (15-8, 8-5), which traditionally makes a successful late-season push for the NCAA Tournament, recorded a hard-fought 45-41 Atlantic 10 victory over Virginia Tech (13-12, 6-7) at Blacksburg, Va. . . . Providence (19-7 10-5) improved to 3-4 on the road against Big East opponents with a 79-74 victory over Rutgers (11-12, 5-10) at Piscataway, N.J. . . . Seton Hall (9-15, 4-11) made 10 consecutive shots in a 29-8 second-half spurt for an 85-74 Big East victory over Notre Dame (12-11, 6-9) at East Rutherford, N.J.
College Basketball Notes
Cal State Fullerton forward John Williams, the Titans’ leading scorer and rebounder, had his broken right wrist put in a new cast after it was re-examined. He’s out for at least three more weeks.