HOUSTON -- LaceDarius Dunn finished with a team-high 22 points, had six rebounds and two assists, but in the end he was left only to compliment the suffocating second-half defense applied on him by Duke's 6-foot-8 Kyle Singler.
After scoring 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting in the first half, the 6-4 Dunn was limited to 3-of-9 shooting overall and 1-of-5 from 3-point range in the second half. Singler guarded Dunn for much of the 34 minutes the Duke junior played.
"I think that was pretty smart, me having to shoot over 6-8," Dunn said. "Great coach, he’s been here before and he knows what it takes, so by him putting a bigger guard on me, and not only that, but Singler taking the responsibility to be a great defender, I’ve just go to give him credit for that."
Dunn still scored on an array of moves, but he had to work hard for everything and he rarely got an open look from deep. He said Singler prevented him from running off ball screens and for being on him when he did catch the ball. The defensive end took an obvious toll on Singler at the other end. Duke's second-leading scorer at nearly 18 points a game, missed all 10 of his shot attempts, including five from long range.
But, he hit 5-of-6 free throws, including four in a row in the final 30 seconds, to keep Duke's lead out of reach. He also had four assists and a couple of key offensive rebounds.
"We knew what kind of a guy he was coming into the game," Dunn said. "Even though he didn’t score as much as he do, he did the other little things that made his team win, offensive rebounding, he gets to the line, knocking down big free throws at the end to keep them up. Players make plays and I think he did that even without scoring."