CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Two early fouls and a poke in the eye made ACC scoring and assists leader Nolan Smith a virtual non factor in the first half of No. 5-ranked Duke’s game this evening at Miami.
Even with Smith held to two free throws for the half, though, the Blue Devils managed to build a lead. Sophomore guard Seth Curry, who scored 22 points in a win Wednesday over North Carolina, hit for 13 in the first half against the Hurricanes and added a pair of steals to lift Duke to a 42-37 halftime lead.
Smith left in the game’s seventh minute after being whistled for his second foul.
He also had been poked in the eye and went to the locker room to have it checked out. He returned with 4:33 remaining and the Blue Devils holding a 31-27 lead.
Later, Smith left the game for the final 1:43 of the first half.
While Smith was gone, Curry ran the team skillfully. He made three 3-pointers, an 18-foot jumper on an inbounds play and two free throws.
His 3-pointer with 1:03 remaining in the half – which came on a second-shot opportunity after he missed two free throws – gave Duke a 40-37 lead.
Ryan Kelly added eight points on four elbow jumpers for the Blue Devils.