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Duke tops Baylor 78-71, advances to first Final Four since 2004

Duke is back in the Final Four after advancing with a 78-71 win over Baylor. It's Duke's first Final Four trip since 2004.

Duke dominated the boards, which included 13 offensive rebounds and 23 second-chance points. Another key was Nolan Smith (29 points) and John Scheyer (20 points) who picked up the slack for a struggling Kyle Singler (0-for-10, 5 points).   

Baylor led 57-54 with 5:44 left, but Duke's man-to-man defense and offensive rebounding stopped Baylor from getting out on the break. Duke ended the game on a 24-14 run.  

LaceDarius Dunn had 22 points and Ekpe Udoh added 18 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and five blocks.

This one might be over. Lance Thomas slammed home an offensive rebound and was fouled. He hit the free throw and Duke leads 70-62 with 1:25 left.

It was another offensive rebound by Duke as Thomas snagged it and fed Nolan Smith for a three. Scheyer drained another three on the ensuing possession to give Duke a 67-61 lead with 2:29 left. Duke has 17 second-chance points in the second half.

Duke is killing Baylor on the offensive boards. Lance Thomas grabbed an offensive board and fed Nolan Smith for a three and gave Duke a 60-59 lead with 4:10 left.

LaceDarius Dunn is trying to take over for Baylor and scored four straight points to put the Bears up 57-54. But Jon Scheyer answered with a three, tying the score at 57 with 5:17 left.

Baylor hasn't hit a field goal in over seven minutes. Duke leads 54-53 with 6:38 left. Baylor center Josh Lomers fouled out with 8:10 left in the game and the score tied at 53.

Duke stretched its lead to 51-47, but Baylor came back with four straight, capped by a dunk by Ekpe Udoh, tying the score at 51 with  9:39 left in the game.

Duke is quietly surging, despite Singler shooting 0-for-7. Baylor's penchant for taking the long three is helping Duke. Blue Devils lead 49-46 with 12:38 left.

Duke is on an 8-2 run and leads 45-44 with 15:35 to go in the game. Scheyer drained three free throws and Nolan Smith hit four during the run.

Baylor starting center Josh Lomers picked up his third foul as he hacked Singler on a lauyp. Singler, who's struggling, hit 1 of 2 free throws, but Scheyer was fouled, by Lomers, while taking a three-pointer. He hit all three and Duke trails 42-41 with 17:55 left in the game.  

Andre Dawkins drained a three-pointer with under 30 seconds left to halt a Baylor 17-4 run. But the Bears ended the half on a great 17-7 spurt and lead 35-32. LaceDarius Dunn and Tweety Carter had 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Duke Nolan Smith has 12 points. Kyle Singler, Duke's top scorer, is 0-for-6. Jon Scheyer had two three-pointers, but that's about it. Duke needs to be more aggressive with its penetration and not just look for the three. That passiveness led to several turnovers at the top of the offense.

Baylor has turned up the defense and is on a 17-4 run. Two straight steals led to four points and the Bears lead 35-29 with 52 seconds left.

Baylor continues to stay with the zone and Duke is starting to pick it apart. Nolan Smith and Jon Scheyer drained back-to-back three-pointers. Duke leads 20-16 with 9:23 left.

Duke is experiencing some foul issues today as Brian Zoubek picked up his second whistle with 11:32 left in the first. Duke's Andre Dawkins drained a three to give the Blue Devils a 14-11 lead. But Quincy Acy countered with a three-point play, tying the score at 14 with 11:32 left.

Kyle Singler picked up his second foul with 15:00 left in the half.

New York Sports