Rodney Hood's free throw with five seconds left lifted the No. 6-ranked Duke Blue Devils to a 91-90 victory over the upset-minded Vermont Catamounts at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Sunday evening. Duke improves to 5-1, while the Catamounts fall to 1-5 on the year.
Duke held a 61-49 lead at the 15:30 mark of the second half, but Vermont answered with 10 straight points as part of a 13-2 run. Hector Harold's three-point play with just over 11 minutes remaining brought UVM within one 63-62.
Neither team held more than a four-point advantage the rest of the way.
Clancy Rugg tipped in a missed 3-pointer by Candon Rusin at the 5:29 mark to give Vermont a three-point lead, 78-75.
With just over three minutes remaining, Hood made a pair of free throws to knot the game up at 79-79. Rusin answered with a reverse layup to push the Catamounts back in front by two, but a dunk by Jabari Parker tied the game up again at 81 and he gave the Blue Devils the lead with just over two minutes showing on the clock with a tip-in rebound.
Brian Voelkel tied up the game again on a layup, but Quinn Cook shoved Duke in front with a 3-pointer with just over a minute left.
The Catamounts climbed back within one on a 3-pointer by Rusin, that beat the shot clock buzzer, and he was fouled on the play. Rusin converted the four-point play to tie the game up at 90 with 10.4 seconds left.
Duke pushed the ball down the floor and Hood was able to draw a foul on Rugg. He drained one of his two attempts to give Duke the lead with five seconds remaining.
The Catamounts had a look for a final shot, but Rusin's floater from the baseline was after the final horn.
Harold poured in a career-high 24 points, on 9-for-12 shooting, to lead the Catamounts and Clancy Rugg added 20 points, just his second 20-point performance in his career. Sandro Carissimo added 16 points and a career-high nine assists.
Jabari Parker led all scorers with 26 points, going 11-for-16 from the field, and Hood finished the night with 22 points.
Vermont travels to San Francisco for Thanksgiving Week to compete in the Golden Gate Classic hosted by the University of San Francisco. The Catamounts take on Illinois State on Wednesday (Nov. 27, 11:15 p.m. EST), then face the hosts, San Francisco at 9 p.m. EST on Friday (Nov. 29) and wrap up the tournament on Saturday (Nov. 30) facing Sonoma State at 9 p.m. EST.
Courtesy: UVM Athletic Department
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