Saturday, Dec. 4 7:00pm ET
Horvath's unlikely shot the game-winner
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Conventional? No way. Effective? You bet.Freshman Nick Horvath banked home a 3-pointer with 14.6 seconds left in overtime as Duke (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) rallied from a 12-point deficit to beat DePaul (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) 84-83 on Saturday night.
"The crazy thing was it was one of our options we had," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said of Horvath's final shot. "But we didn't tell him to bank it in."
Horvath, who had just replaced Carlos Boozer for added offense, hit the game-winner from the top of the key as Duke (5-2) extended its winning streak in steamy Cameron Indoor Stadium to 39 games.
"I was thinking just to be ready if the ball gets to me," said the 6-foot-10 Horvath. "I saw it was open and I took it."
The Blue Devils, who got a career-high 22 points from Nate James, won their fifth straight after starting the season 0-2.
Freshman Steven Hunter led the Blue Demons (4-2) with 21 points and 10 rebounds. All five DePaul starters had at least 14 points.
"We did not come here to look good on TV," said DePaul's Pat Kennedy, the former Florida State coach who is now 2-12 against Duke. "We came here to win the basketball game, so our kids are hurting very badly right now."
DePaul, which led most of the game, had one last chance for the victory. But Quentin Richardson, who scored 20 points, threw up an airball from in close against Chris Carrawell's tight defense. The ball went out of bounds to Duke with a second left, and fans stormed the floor at the final buzzer.
"That was a helluva basketball game," Krzyzewski said. "I am very, very proud of our team and I'm very proud of the DePaul team. Boy, there was just amazing intensity out there. They are not just good, they are really good."
The Cameron Crazies might have willed Duke's young team to victory. Behind the chants of "Our House!" Duke took its first lead at 61-60 on James' free throw with 6:58 left.
The lead reached six points before the Blue Demons closed in down the stretch, and a free throw by Bobby Simmons with 24 seconds left tied it at 73.
Duke's Jason Williams, who played all 45 minutes and fell one rebound short of a triple-double, lost the ball driving to the basket as time expired to send the game into OT.
No team led by more than three in the extra period.
"It's hard to say a team or a program comes of age, but this early in the season ... this is a coming-of-age type of game," Kennedy said. "I can't walk out of here any less prouder except if Horvath's shot had hit the right side of the backboard instead of the middle of the backboard."
The Blue Devils, coming off a three-point victory Tuesday at No. 16 Illinois, trailed 38-36 at halftime and immediately fell behind by 12 to start the second half. DePaul opened with a 12-2 run behind two 3-pointers and a baseline jumper from 5-foot-7 Rashon Burno.
Duke's four 3-pointers over the next six minutes fueled its 18-6 run and produced a 56-56 tie with 9:49 left.
James had a career-high 18 points -- half of Duke's 36 points -- by halftime to keep Duke's struggling offense afloat.
"Nate saved us in the first half," Krzyzewski said. "If Nate James doesn't just play an incredible first half we could be down 10 or 12 points. I told our team that after the game."
The previous best for James was 15 points four games ago against
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Nick Horvath sinks a 3-pointer for the win in OT.
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Carlos Boozer takes the ball to the rack in OT.
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