Jim Spanarkel and Mike Gminski each sank two free throws in the final 80 seconds today to ensure seventh-ranked Duke a 69-64 victory over 13th-ranked Marquette.
Spanarkel's free throws gave the Blue Devils (14-3) a 67-64 cushion with 1:20 to play in the nationally televised game. But Marquette Coach Hank Raymonds said a rebound botched shortly before by his Warriors, allowing Spanarkel to score the go-ahead basket, was the key play.
Trailing most of the game, Marquette (14-3) fought back to take a 64-62 lead with Sam Worthen's 18-foot jump shot with just under five minutes left. But as the shot was in the air, Bernard Toone, the Warriors' leading scorer with 22 points, fouled Duke forward Gene Banks.
Banks went to the foul line with a bonus situation. He made the first free throw -- for his 23rd point, one more than center Gminski -- and missed the second. But the Warriors knocked the rebound out of bounds.
"We just had a lapse in concentration on the play," Raymonds said. "Everybody's gunning for us and maybe the players were feeling a little pressure."
The Blue Devils took advantage of the mistake, with Spanarkel taking a Banks pass and hitting a 16-foot jumper to give Duke a 65-64 lead with 4:33 to play.
When Duke got the ball back, after Marquette center Odell Ball missed a shot, it went to a delay game.
Marquette let the clock run down and the Blue Devils passed around the perimeter of the Warrior zone for almost three minutes, until Spanarkel was fouled with 1:20 to play.
On the foul line for the first time, Spanarkel, who made eight turnovers today, stoned by dropping both one-and-one free throws for a 67-64 advantage.
Duke got the ball back with 44 seconds left, but Marquette waited until the 10-second mark to foul Gminski, who made both his free throws for the final margin.
"I'm grateful for the performance by us in the last five minutes, which was basically flawless," said Duke Coach Bill Foster. "Our stall was the key to the game. We kept the ball moving and met each pass; it surprised us that they delayed in getting to it (breaking the freeze)."