Singler Leads Top-Seeded Duke Past Purdue, 70-57
HOUSTON, Texas — The top-seeded Blue Devils returned to the round of eight for the first time since 2004, with Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer helping them pull away in the second half Friday night for a 70-57 win over Purdue in the South Regional semifinals.
Singler scored 24 points and Scheyer added 18, snapping out of a shooting slump just in time.
Duke (32-5) will play third-seeded Baylor in Sunday’s regional final after clearing a nagging hurdle that had some wondering if the mighty program was losing its edge.
The Blue Devils had lost in the round of 16 in three of the past five seasons, but now stand one victory from their 11th Final Four appearance under coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Scheyer, Duke’s leading scorer, was 5-for-18 from the field in Duke’s first two NCAA tournament games. He went 5-for-9 in the second half after missing his first six shots and also went 7-for-8 from the foul line.
It was 31-all with 15Â½ minutes left before the Blue Devils broke away.
Brian Zoubek grabbed 14 rebounds and Duke dominated the undersized Boilermakers inside, as expected. The absence of injured do-everything forward Robbie Hummel finally caught up with fourth-seeded Purdue (29-6), which lost in the regional semifinals for the second straight season.