Canada's Barrett scores 28 as Duke squeaks by Wake Forest
Star teammate Zion Williamson misses 4th straight game with injured knee
Canadian RJ Barrett scored 28 points and No. 4 Duke held on to beat Wake Forest 71-70 on Tuesday night after Chaundee Brown's jumper rimmed out at the buzzer.
Tre Jones added 13 points for a sluggish Duke team missing star freshman Zion Williamson for a fourth straight game with a sprained right knee. The Blue Devils (26-4, 14-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) overcame 41 per cent shooting and a 16-for-26 showing from the free-throw line to win their 10th straight in the in-state series.
Williamson's absence, coupled with a rough game from No. 3 option Cameron Reddish, left Barrett, from Mississauga, Ont., as essentially a one-man show for Duke. The Blue Devils — 26-point favourites — trailed by 10 with 16 minutes remaining and never led by more than three until the final three minutes.
Brown had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and he pulled Wake Forest within 69-68 with two free throws with 43.9 seconds left. Duke bled the shot clock before the left-handed Barrett hit a right-handed jumper in the lane to put the Blue Devils up by three with 17.3 seconds remaining.
Brandon Childress hit a layup with 7.4 seconds left, and Wake Forest had one last chance after Duke turned it over while trying to inbound the ball. Childress missed a 3-pointer with about two seconds left and the rebound went to Brown, whose short jumper spun around the back of the iron before falling out at the horn.