February 1, 2007

Virginia knocks off No. 10 Duke in overtime

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -Sean Singletary tied the game with a jumper late in regulation, then hit a falling, one-handed floater with a second left in overtime Thursday night, lifting Virginia past No. 8 Duke 68-66.

The Cavaliers (14-6, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who trailed 59-51 with 3:42 left in regulation, pulled even on Singletary's 15-footer with 24.8 seconds left, his first basket in nearly 16 minutes. Duke's Josh McRoberts missed a driving attempt in the final seconds of regulation, and Singletary and the Cavaliers never trailed in the extra period.

It was Virginia's fifth victory in a row, and second straight that required a dramatic comeback. They erased a 16-point deficit in the last nine minutes at Clemson on Saturday, winning on a tip-in by Jason Cain with 15.5 seconds to play.

Duke (18-4, 5-3) lost for the first time in its last 10 meetings with Virginia, but not until Greg Paulus' 3-point attempt at the buzzer bounced off the back rim.

The Blue Devils had their five-game conference winning streak snapped, and fell out of a tie for fourth place with Virginia at the midpoint of the ACC schedule.

J.R. Reynolds led the Cavaliers with 25 points - 20 in the second half. Singletary added 17 despite making only 6 of 16 shots, and Mamadi Diane had 14 points.

McRoberts led Duke with 19 points, DeMarcus Nelson had 12 and Paulus 10.

In the overtime, Duke called a timeout with the score tied at 66, 8 seconds left on the shot clock and 30.2 seconds left in the game. On the inbound, they got the ball to Jon Scheyer, who got stuck in the corner with Solomon Tat defending and forced a shot that hit off the side of the backboard. Virginia rebounded with 17 seconds left.

Singletary did the rest, driving at the basket from the right side, pulling up and almost falling down as he flicked the ball up over the defense and in.

When Paulus' try for the victory missed, hundreds of fans rushed the court.

The Cavaliers trailed 59-51 with 3:42 to play, but Reynolds scored their next eight points - six on as many free throw attempts - and Singletary tied it with a 15-footer.

The Blue Devils didn't call time, and when McRoberts tried to take Jason Cain off the dribble in the final seconds, his shot rolled off the rim and time ran out.

Cain had six points and 10 rebounds before fouling out in overtime.

The Cavaliers trailed almost all game, but drew even at 49 on three free throws by Reynolds with 7:14 to play. But the Blue Devils immediately went on a 10-2 spurt.

McRoberts started it with a basket inside and Scheyer hit a 3-pointer.

After Reynolds made a floater for Virginia, he lay on the court with an apparent cramp, but play continued, and Nelson made a 3-pointer from the left corner. Another basket by McRoberts inside made it 59-51 with 3:42 to play, but Virginia wasn't done.

For more coverage of Virginia, visit CavsCorner.com; for more on Duke, visit DevilsIllustrated.com.



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