The #6-ranked Duke Blue Devils hung on to beat the now 1-5 Vermont Catamounts on Sunday night on a very controversial call with just five seconds remaining in the game. Duke sophomore forward Rodney Hood connected on the second of two free throws to give his squad the one-point victory.
Duke led 51-43 at halftime, but took a 74-73 lead with exactly seven minutes remaining in the contest on a three-pointer by Hector Harold. The teams traded baskets down the stretch until just 13 seconds remained with the Blue Devils holding a seemingly-safe 90-86 lead.
Duke’s Rasheed Sulaimon fouled Vermont’s Candon Rusin on a three-point attempt, and Rusin completed the improbably four-point play to tie the game. That set the stage for the iffy call on the Catamounts’ Clancy Rugg that sent Hood to the line to play the hero. After missing the first attempt, he iced the game with the second.
Duke is now 5-1 on the season after escaping what would have been a monumental early-season upset on their own floor. Freshman sensation Jabari Parker led the Blue Devils with 26 points on 11 of 16 shooting to go along with 9 rebounds. Hood added 22 points and 7 rebounds of his own. Vermont was led by 20 points from Rugg and 16 points, 9 assists, and 4 rebounds from point guard Sandro Carissimo.