Belmont gives Duke major scare

Thursday, March 20, 2008 at 8:26pm

No. 15 seed Belmont gave second seed Duke all it wanted and more in a 71-70 loss to the Blue Devils in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.

The Bruins led 70-69 with less than 15 seconds left, but Duke's Gerald Henderson went coast-to-coast to hit the eventual game-winning shot with 11.9 seconds left.

Justin Hare, who has hit numerous game-winning shots for Belmont in his career, drove the court and put up a shot with four seconds left, but missed. There was a jump ball called on the rebound, and the Bruins maintained possession. But on the in-bounds play, Belmont turned the ball over.

Renfroe, who prepped at Hume-Fogg and transferred to Belmont from Trevecca Nazarene, turned in a starring role. Renfroe finished with 15 bench points to lead Belmont. Andy Wicke and Matthew Dotson each added 14 points.

The game ended in front of a national television audience, with a CBS announcer saying, “Belmont pulls at your heart strings and [BU coach] Rick Byrd is an excellent coach.”

Belmont was seeking to become just the fifth No. 15 seed in the history of the NCAA tournament to win in the first round.

It was Belmont’s third-straight NCAA appearance and the loss ended a 13-game winning streak for the Bruins. Both of Belmont’s previous two first round opponents – UCLA and Georgetown – went on to the Final 4.

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By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Major props to Belmont! If they had hit their free throws, they would have won!

By: global_citizen on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Wow! How sweet it would have been to see #15 Belmont beat #2 Duke. Holy heaven, what a great day this would have been. But major kudos to Rick Byrd and his team for a fantastic game and the closest near-win you can get. Even in defeat, they have so much to be proud of.

By: Cowboy84 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Great job by the Rebels, I mean Bruins, it was great to watch coach K scramble to get his team to beat an A-Sun team. Oh the excuses Vitale and Bilas would have had to come up with if the Bruins had won.