Stephen F. Austin stuns top-ranked Duke for biggest win in program history
Nathan Bain hit a layup at the overtime buzzer and Stephen F. Austin knocked off No. 1 Duke 85-83 on Tuesday night, ending the Blue Devils’ 150-game home winning streak against nonconference opponents.
The Lumberjacks became the first non-Atlantic Coast Conference team to beat Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in nearly 20 years and the second unranked team to upset a No. 1-ranked team on its home floor in two weeks after Evansville went into Rupp Arena and stunned Kentucky 67-64.
“I told our players, ‘Banners can’t beat us tonight,’” Stephen F. Austin coach Kyle Keller said. “The players have to beat us.”
Duke had the ball in the closing seconds of overtime, but Tre Jones missed a jumper with about 15 seconds left and Wendell Moore rebounded it. With the Lumberjacks’ high-pressure defense hounding Duke, the ball kicked way from Matthew Hurt in a scramble with about 3 seconds left — directly to Bain, who went the length of the floor for a buzzer-beating layup.
“I looked up at the clock and saw I had 2.6 seconds, just going as fast as I can to lay it up. Like a layup drill. Prayed it would go in,” Bain said. “I wasn’t sure if the guy was going to foul me or not. Get it on the rim to give us a chance.”
Kevon Harris scored 26 points and Gavin Kensmil added 15 for the Lumberjacks (5-1).
Vernon Carey had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Blue Devils (6-1), who had 22 turnovers and were just 11 of 24 from the free-throw line in the second half.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski “told us at halftime about getting back” on defense, guard Cassius Stanley said. “It’s kind of what we deserved. We didn’t listen to him, and it hurt us eventually at the end.”
Tre Jones had 17 points and 12 assists — but also had eight turnovers against a high-pressure Stephen F. Austin defense that is the nation’s best at generating takeaways.
There were two ties and a lead change in the final minute of regulation, with Kensmil tying it at 81 with his layup with 19 seconds remaining. That left Duke with the last shot before OT, but after Jones missed a turnaround jumper with about 4 seconds left, the rebound was batted around to Stanley, whose jumper off the glass went off the rim at the buzzer.
Stephen F. Austin: No question the Lumberjacks earned the biggest victory in program history, becoming the first non-ACC team to come into Cameron and win since St. John’s did it in February 2000.
Duke: The Blue Devils’ run at No. 1 will end after two weeks, with this young team coming apart under the pressure of Stephen F. Austin’s tenacious defense.
Stephen F. Austin: Visits Arkansas State on Saturday.
Duke: Plays host to Winthrop on Friday night.