No. 3 Duke survives Miami on Elizabeth Williams' late free throw

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Duke avoided Miami's latest upset bid by the slightest margin.

Elizabeth Williams converted one of two free throws with 1.7 seconds remaining to lift the No. 3 Blue Devils to a 76-75 win over the Hurricanes on Thursday night.

In Duke's visit to Miami last season, the Hurricanes beat the Blue Devils 69-65 on Feb. 28.

This time, Tricia Liston scored 29 points and Williams and Alexis Jones added 18 apiece for the Blue Devils (21-1, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won their ninth straight road game and 11th overall.

"We weren't happy with our performance here last year, but the ACC is just a great conference and you can expect that coming into every game," Liston said. "Miami's always played us tough, so coming in here, we were really focused on having a better outcome."

Williams grabbed Jones' missed jumper with two seconds remaining and was fouled by Miami's Adrienne Motley. Williams made the first free throw to break the 75-all tie.

"I thought that rebound that she had at the end of the game symbolized her strength," Duke coach Joanne McCallie said of Williams.

Maria Brown's two free throws with 14.8 seconds remaining tied it at 75-all. The Hurricanes were attempting a shot when Brown was fouled by Richa Jackson away from the ball.

"We were going for the win," Miami coach Katie Meier said. "I did not want Duke to have the ball back."

Liston's three-point play with 18 seconds left gave Duke a 75-73 lead. Liston scored 20 or more points for the 12th time this season.

Suriya McGuire had 23 points and Motley finished with 15 points for the Hurricanes (11-10, 3-5).

"It would have felt even better than it was last year," McGuire said of another home win against Duke. "This is an eye opener. We're the underdogs. We want to get that win against the bigger teams."

Duke rallied from a five-point deficit with six unanswered points late in the second half. Jones' short jumper with 1:01 remaining capped the run and gave the Blue Devils a 72-71 lead.

"I'm really proud of my team because of the fight that we had," McCallie said. "There were times when it got crazy. There were some unnecessary shots. Control of tempo helped us down the stretch."

The Blue Devils overcame an 11-point deficit with a late first-half run that stretched into the second half.

Jones and Williams scored two field goals each as Duke outscored Miami 10-2 in the first 2:02 of the second half for a 53-48 lead.

Miami stayed within striking distance and went back in front 62-61 on Krystal Saunders' 3-pointer with 8:45 remaining.

The Hurricanes rallied from a six-point deficit and scored 15 unanswered points midway through the first half. McGuire scored six points and Saunders hit two 3-pointers during the spurt. Saunders' second 3-pointer with 7:31 remaining capped the run and gave Miami a 31-22 lead.

Williams' two free throws with 7:01 left ended a scoring drought of 4:21 for the Blue Devils.

Caprice Dennis' 3-pointer with 5:12 remaining gave Miami its second 11-point lead of the half at 40-29. Miami shot 7-of-11 from behind the arc in the first half.

"If we play with that much guts and effort the rest of the way, we're really going to have a fun February and fun March," Meier said. "We played with passion. We were resilient."

The Blue Devils closed the first half on an 8-0 run. Jones' baseline jumper at the buzzer cut Miami's lead to 46-43 at halftime.