Kevin Strickland scored 22 points and Robert Brickey led a decisive second-half surge as fifth-ranked Duke held off Stetson, 81-78, last night in Daytona Beach, Fla., to win for the seventh time in its last eight games.

The Blue Devils, playing their third road game in five days, improved to 13-2 before an Ocean Center crowd of 6,517. Stetson (8-7) lost its fourth straight game and fell to Duke by three points for the second straight year.

Strickland scored 17 points in the first half when Duke led by 10. But Stetson cut the deficit to 45-40 behind the outside shooting of Terry Johnson and inside play of Jimmy Kuhl.

Stetson took a 54-52 lead on Kuhl's layup with 15 minutes remaining. Then Brickey scored five points to key a 20-6 second-half burst as Duke took command. Brickey finished with 15 points and Danny Ferry added 13.

Pitt 90, Providence 56:

Jerome Lane had 17 points and 17 rebounds and halted the game for a half-hour with a backboard-shattering slam dunk, as the No. 11 Panthers won a Big East game in Pittsburgh.

The 34-point margin was Pitt's largest since it joined the Big East in the 1982-83 season and was the Friars' worst since a 41-point loss to Georgetown four years ago.

A costly technical foul on Providence Coach Gordy Chiesa started a 10-point Pittsburgh run that gave the Panthers (14-2) a 22-13 lead midway through the first half.

Pitt's 4-1 start in the Big East is its best since the Panthers entered the league. Providence (8-8, 3-3) lost its fourth game in a row.

Iowa 104, Wisconsin 89:

Roy Marble scored 21 points as the No. 16 Hawkeyes took a 25-point first-half lead en route to the Big Ten victory in Madison, Wis.

B.J. Armstrong and Kent Hill each added 19 points for Iowa (14-5, 4-2), which reached the 100-point mark for the seventh time this season.

Trent Jackson had 24 points for the Badgers (8-8, 2-4).