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Duke 83, Winthrop 70

DURHAM, N.C. - Given a few days to dwell on its stunning loss to Stephen F. Austin, top-ranked Duke wanted to make Winthrop pay for it.

When a blowout didn't happen right away, the young Blue Devils found themselves doubting themselves a bit.

It took a while to get clicking, but Duke eventually pulled away for an 83-70 victory over the Eagles behind a season-high 20 points from freshman Matthew Hurt and career bests of 16 points and four 3-pointers from Joey Baker.

"I think we all wanted to come out tonight and explode right away, try to go up 20 right away," point guard Tre Jones said. "Trying to go up 20 in one play. We're all trying to make the home-run play in just one play and that's impossible. I think we were trying to get ahead of ourselves a little bit."

Playing three nights after the unheralded Lumberjacks strode into Cameron Indoor Stadium and became the first visitor from outside the ACC to win in nearly 20 years, the Blue Devils (7-1) spent the better part of this one looking ripe for another upset before Baker - a sophomore who appeared in just four games last season - saved them.

He hit two dagger 3-pointers 30 seconds apart in the final 3 minutes to put Duke up by double figures to stay and Jordan Goldwire followed with a layup off a steal to give the Blue Devils their largest lead to that point, 78-64, with just under 2 minutes remaining.

"Those two 3s," Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey said, "were backbreakers."

Freshman Vernon Carey added 17 points and 10 rebounds and Jones finished with 15 points for Duke.

Hunter Hale scored 11 points to lead Winthrop (4-4), which kept itself within striking distance for about 30 minutes but - unlike SFA a few nights before - just couldn't keep up.

The Eagles trailed just 67-60 in the final 5 minutes following a 3-pointer by Hale but followed that with two empty possessions before Carey's three-point play was followed by the back-to-back 3s by Baker.

Associated Press

November 29, 2019