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Duke Storms Back To Beat UVa, 76-60

The first 30 minutes or so of the Duke-Virginia game were nothing to write home about,but came alive in the end to pull away 76-60.

Virginia, a team with just four upperclassmen not counting the injured Mike Scott, and with a distinct lack of size, nonetheless controled the majority of the game.

The Cavaliers disallowed transition offense by Duke, and for much of the game the Devils struggled to score from outside against Virginia's highly effective pack line defense. Duke also managed to toss the ball far too often early on.

In short, Virginia had all the elements in place to engineer an upset, which seemed even more likely when Duke came out flat at the beginning of the second half.

Duke was down by nine about four minutes in when things started to turn.First, Nolan Smith hit a jumper, then Seth Curry hit one and followed it with three free throws to make it a two point game. And at about that point, Andre "the Dagger" Dawkins took over.

First he hit a driving basket and then a free throw. Then a few minutes later, he started nailing threes, scoring nine points in a big hurry.

By the time he was finished, Duke was up by 10 and the issue was basically resolved.

While it certainly wasn't a perfect game by Duke, there were nonetheless some important things to note.

First of all, Mason Plumlee pulled down 16 rebounds including seven in the first five minutes. In the last two games, the man has pulled down a Zoubekian 30 boards.

Six of those rebounds against Virginia were offensive, and he has the capacity to stick those back in. When he finally makes that breakthrough, he's going to be a real load.

Despite the slow start, they were some significant hustle plays.

Kyle Singler at one point chased down a Virginia player on the break and spectacularly blocked a shot from behind.

Smith and Dawkins forced a turnover from Joe Harris which ended in a huge dunk by Smith.

Smith grabbed seven rebounds while Curry pulled down six, and Duke outrebounded Virginia 40-25.

After this game, Duke goes on the Big Four road, playing State and Wake Forest, before returning home to face the ACC's biggest surprise team, Boston College.

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