Courtesy of the ACC Network
DURHAM, N.C. - Rodney Hood scored 30 points and Jabari Parker added 21 as Duke advanced to Madison Square Garden with a 83-74 NIT Tipoff regional final win over impressive East Carolina. Quin Cook had 14 points and ten assists for the Blue Devils.
East Carolina(4-1) gave Duke(4-1) all they could handle but in the end, the deeper, more physical Blue Devils were ultimately able to wear down the Pirates in the end.
Prince Williams led four Pirates in double-figures with 15 points. Akeem Richmond and Antonio Robinson had 13 apiece while Paris Roberts-Campbell tossed in 11.
Duke shot at a 47 percent clip to just 40 percent for the visiting Pirates. Both teams hit only five of fourteen from three-point range for the game.
ECU drained 19 of 20 from the charity stripe while Duke hit 21 of 30.
"I'm proud of the way they played. They understood the game plan with no preparation. We were going to have to go off the bounce. We missed some easy ones early. We took their onslaught early and from then we did a good job of taking them away from the three-point line. They didn't really get on a gigantic run. Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker were terrific. They willed Duke to victory. We knew where they were going and they knew where they were going and there wasn't anything we could do about it, said ECU head coach Jeff Lebo, "I was really concerned about it with no prep, but we played pretty well tonight."
Duke jumped out front 25-11 in the first ten minutes of the contest on nearly perfect shooting in the early going.
Paris Roberts-Campbell tossed in a three pointer to cut the lead to 28-16 with 8:30 to in the half, but Jabari Parker answered on the other end to maintain the Duke lead.
Akeem Richmond was held scoreless over the first twelve minutes of the game.
Parker and Rodney Hood scored eight and seven respectively through the 8 minute mark.
Prince Williams slammed home a driving dunk and Richmond nailed a trey for ECU to cut the lead to nine at the seven minute mark. But Parker scored on the other end for Duke to maintain a 13 point lead at 34-21.
Andre Dawkins' dunk off an ECU turnover made the score 36-23 followed by Parker spinning on Stith on the baseline for another bucket at the 4:25 mark.
Quinn Cook had 10 points and 7 assists for Duke by the 4 minute point in the first period as the Blue Devils maintained defensive pressure on the Pirates.
The Pirates got a three point play from Michael Zangari inside of three minutes in the first half. Antonio Robinson's basket made it 43-28. A Caleb White follow dunk cut the Blue Devil's lead to thirteen. Then Robinson hit a floater in the lane for ECU to trim the lead to eleven in the last minute of the half.
Parker and Cook has 12 and 11 at halftime while Antonio Robinson led ECU with 6
while Paris Roberts-Campbell and Prince Williams scored five each in the first half. Duke hit 60 percent of their shots while ECU was limited to just 38 percent
in the first twenty minutes of the contest with nine turnovers.
Both teams were two of six from three-point range in the first half.
Mike Zangari stuffed home a basket in the first minute of the second period and Caleb White's three pointer cut the Duke lead to nine. Then Paris Roberts-Campbell's drive down the lane produced two free throws to whittle the lead to six at 45-39. Richmond nailed a trey to cut the lead to five at the 17:25 mark. Prince Williams got in the act for a basket and the Pirates got a steal and took a timeout with 16:15 to go.
Jabari Parker nailed a big time trey from the right corner with Marshall Guilmette right in his face to extend Duke's lead to 55-46.
But Richmond tossed in a trey at the 11:20 mark to cut the lead to four. Robinson found Paris Roberts-Campbell on the baseline for a basket to cut the lead to three before Cook got his first bucket of the second period to give Duke a five point 62-57 lead at the 9:30 mark.
ECU's Brandon Stith found Prince Williams for a bucket to cut the lead to three. The Pirates then forced a jump ball for their eighth turnover of the contest at the 9 minute mark.
Robinson took Jabari Parker to the hoop to trim the lead to one with 7:25 to play at 62-61. Duke struck back with two Rodney Hood free throws and ECU came right back down the court where Prince Williams drove past Rasheed Sulaimon. Parker hit two free throws to extend the Blue Devil lead to three. Robinson cut it to two with a free throw with just under six minutes to play.
Parker took it coast to coast for his 21st point to open up a five point Duke lead with 4:52 to go.
Roberts-Campbell cut it to three with 4 minutes to go on basket in the lane on an inbounds pass. Sulaimon answered for Duke before Roberts-Campbell scored again at the 3:30 mark. Then Hood scored for Duke with 3:08 left as the two teams exchanged baskets.
Robinson's two free throws with 2:53 to play cut the lead to three at 73-70 but Hood answered with his seventh and eighth straight free throws for a five point lead.
The next ECU possession, Robinson was stuffed by Parker on a drive, giving Duke the ball back with 1:52 remaining.
Roberts-Campbell fouled out at the 1:40 mark after two touch fouls in the last two minutes. Thornton then fouled out, putting Richmond on the charity stripe where he hit both shots.
Hood scored his 28th point on a fast break layup to extend the lead to seven in the last minute of play. Williams hit a bucket late for ECU but it wasn't enough as Duke got their 105th straight win over non-conference opponents with the 83-74 win.