Close But No Cigar for Belmont

Upset bid falls short as Duke holds on to win, 71-70
By Jamie Buss,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2008 10:13 PM CDT
Close But No Cigar for Belmont
Belmont guard Alex Renfroe, front, shots past Duke guard Nolan Smith during first half action in a first round NCAA West Regional basketball game today in Washington.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

In the most compelling game of a so-far uneventful day in the NCAA tournament, Belmont made every effort to change that, as No. 2 Duke prevailed but barely in over the 15th-seeded Bruins 71-70, reports the Associated Press. A coast-to-coast drive and layup by Blue Devil swingman Gerald Henderson with 11 seconds left made the difference, as Belmont couldn't convert on its final two possessions after claiming a 1-point lead.

Henderson led the way for the Blue Devils, almost doubling his season average by scoring 21 points, while also grabbing seven rebounds. Belmont hung tough throughout the game, but turnovers and missed shots proved costly in the last two minutes.  They finish their season at 25-9, while Duke improves to 28-5 and lives to see another game this Saturday. (More Duke Blue Devils stories.)

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