DURHAM, N.C., FEB. 17 -- The Virginia Cavaliers knew they were in trouble at halftime tonight. Sixth-ranked Duke had shot just 29 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, Blue Devils forward Danny Ferry was missing his usually successful leaning jumpers and Coach Mike Krzyzewski was as close as he gets to a rage in the other locker room -- but the Blue Devils still led by eight points.

All those fears were justified. Ferry, after shooting three for 10 from the field in the first half, connected on seven of 11 second-half attempts and led a seven-minute charge that allowed the Blue Devils to pull away for a 73-54 win before 8,564 in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

"He was about as mad as he ever gets," Ferry said of Krzyzewski's intermission tirade. "He said, 'If you can't make easy shots, get easier ones.'"

So Ferry, who finished with 28 points and nine rebounds, promptly scored 10 of Duke's first 12 points in the second half as the Devils (19-3, 8-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) opened up a 15-point advantage with 12:50 to play and coasted to their 11th consecutive win over Virginia.

"That was the key factor in the game, just getting the ball to Danny at that point and staying as intense as we had been on defense," Krzyzewski said.

But Duke had plenty of help from the Cavaliers (12-13, 4-5), who made only six of 19 free throw attempts, committed 21 turnovers and couldn't find Mel Kennedy. The 6-5 forward took just 10 shots and finished with nine points after scoring in double figures for 15 consecutive games and averaging 21.8 points over the last 10.

"They just took us out of our offense," said Cavaliers point guard John Johnson {12 points}. The Blue Devils crossed up Virginia by using their defensive ace, Billy King, on Johnson rather than Kennedy, and the Cavaliers offense never progressed beyond Johnson going one on one and Bill Batts (14 points, 11 rebounds) crashing the offensive boards.

Tennessee 72, Kentucky 70:

In Knoxville, Tenn., Greg Bell made a 5-foot shot with one second to play to give the Volunteers the upset over the No. 9 Wildcats in a Southeastern Conference game.

Bell's basket came after Tennessee's Clarence Swearengen batted away a Kentucky ball. The Volunteers (13-9, 6-7) snapped a three-game losing streak.

Ed Davender scored 27 points for the Wildcats (18-4, 10-4). Dyron Nix scored 20 for Tennessee. Mark Griffin and Bell scored 15 each for the Volunteers.

Griffin's three-pointer tied it at 67 with 3:18 to play and two free throws by Dyron Nix put Tennessee ahead, 69-67.

Davender made a free throw after an intentional foul by Doug Roth. Rob Lock's basket gave the Wildcats a 70-69 lead but, with 47 seconds left, Nix tied it on the first shot of a one-and-one.

Oklahoma 79, Oklahoma State 75:

In Stillwater, Okla., Stacey King scored 22 points and Dave Sieger made two important free throws with 12 seconds left as the No. 4 Sooners (23-2, 9-1) held off the Cowboys (12-11, 3-6) in a Big Eight game for their ninth consecutive victory.

North Carolina 80, Wake Forest 62:

In Chapel Hill, N.C., Steve Bucknall and Kevin Madden scored 15 points each, leading the No. 5 Tar Heels (19-3, 8-2) past Wake Forest (8-14, 2-8) in an ACC game.

Michigan 82, Minnesota 78:

In Minneapolis, Terry Mills scored five of the final six points for the No. 10 Wolverines (21-4, 10-2), including two free throws with four seconds left, as they held off the Gophers (9-13, 3-9) in a Big Ten game.

Syracuse 82, St. John's 68:

In Syracuse, N.Y., Stephen Thompson scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half as the No. 12 Orangemen pulled away with a 16-6 run. Derrick Coleman scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Orangemen (19-6, 8-4) against St. John's (15-7, 6-6).

Alabama 88, Vanderbilt 77:

In Tuscaloosa, Ala., reserve Alvin Lee scored a career-high 36 points as the Crimson Tide (12-13, 4-9) upset the No. 16 Commodores (16-6, 9-5).