As the losses mount for Duke, coach Mike Krzyzewski searches for a silver lining



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CORAL GABLES, Florida — As the losses mount for Duke, coach Mike Krzyzewski searches for a silver lining.

Against Miami, he had to settle for this: The Blue Devils weren't blown out.

No. 24 Duke trailed for the final 24 minutes Monday night, made a late charge that fell short and lost to No. 15 Miami, 80-69.

The Blue Devils (15-6, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) have lost four of their past five games, with the defeats by a total of 22 points.

"We've had a chance in every game," Krzyzewski said. "That's all I'm looking for. The winning effort has been there the entire time."

The Blue Devils came into the game ranked fifth in the nation in scoring at 85.7 points but continued a recent offensive slump. They shot only 42 percent and went 6 for 20 from 3-point range, while Miami shot 51 percent.

Brandon Ingram led Duke with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Grayson Allen added 17 points but shot just 6 for 17, with three of his attempts blocked.

"That was the most physical game we've been a part of this season," Krzyzewski said. "They were better than we were."

Duke now has seven days off to regroup.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for guys to get their bodies right, because this has been a pretty tough stretch physically on us," center Marshall Plumlee said. "It's a lot of time to take care of all the little things, so we can really hit the ground running with our next game."

Senior Angel Rodriguez shook a shooting slump by making three 3-pointers and added a career-high 11 assists for Miami. He scored 13 points, while Sheldon McClellan had 21 and benefited from Rodriguez's most spectacular assist late in the game.

Duke cut the deficit to six points with 1:12 left but could get no closer. Miami (16-3, 5-2) beat a ranked team for the third time this season, and won by double digits for the 15th time.

"We're taking pride in making people respect us," Rodriguez said.

Coach Jim Larranaga cautioned not to make too much of the win, however.

"Every game counts as one," he said. "You beat Duke, it counts as one."

Rodriguez came into the game 4 for 30 from 3-point range in league games but went 3 for 5 from beyond the arc in the first half to help Miami take the lead for good.

"I like playing the powerhouses," he said. "That's what we come to the ACC for."

"Rodriguez was a great leader for them, distributing the ball, hitting the big shots," Krzyzewski said.

Rodriguez's best play came when Duke was mounting a rally when Rodriguez dribbled quickly through the defense in transition and tossed an alley-oop pass on the run to McClellan for a dunk and a 64-55 lead.

Duke missed nine consecutive shots, including five in one possession, during an 8-1 Hurricanes run that put them ahead 45-35.

The Hurricanes' man-to-man defense didn't let Duke get to the free throw line much, either. The Blue Devils average nearly 26 free throws a game but went just 13 for 17.

"We played with a lot of energy," McClellan said, "and it starts on the defensive end."

McClellan scored six points in the final 2 minutes to help seal the victory.

Ja'Quan Newton scored 15 points to help Miami's bench outscore Duke's 21-7. Davon Reed added 14 points, and Tonye Jekiri had 10 rebounds, six offensive.

The Hurricanes finished with 24 assists to eight for Duke.

TIP-INS

Duke: The Blue Devils gave up 30 points in the paint in the second half.

Miami: The Hurricanes were 2-15 against Duke before hiring Larranaga. They have won four of six games in the series since he became coach.

UP NEXT

Duke: is at Georgia Tech on Feb. 2.

Miami: is at North Carolina State on Saturday.

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