Parker leads No. 6 Duke past Alabama

By
Updated: November 28, 2013

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – Jabari Parker scored 27 points and sixth-
ranked Duke beat Alabama, 74-64, in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Quinn Cook tallied 17 points and Matt Jones scored 13 for the Blue Devils
(6-1), who will face No. 4 Arizona in the championship game Friday at Madison
Square Garden. A win Friday would give the Blue Devils their fifth title at
this event, joining the efforts from 1985, 2000, 2005 and 2009.

Nick Jacobs had 18 points, while Trevor Releford and Algie Key both added 11
for the Crimson Tide (3-2), who faces Drexel in the consolation contest.

Alabama scored the game’s first five points, but the Blue Devils clamped down
defensively and held Alabama to 34.6 percent shooting over the first 20
minutes.

Duke went on a 28-8 spurt in the half. Parker capped the rally with a layup
with 1:26 remaining for a 33-20 advantage. The difference was 33-22 at the
break.

Levi Randolph’s layup cut the margin to 46-40 with 12:07 remaining, but the
Blue Devils thrived at the charity stripe in the second half, going 18-for-21.
Parker made 3-of-4 from the foul line over a 35-second span to widen the gap
to 56-44 inside nine minutes left.

“They were guarding. I couldn’t be aggressive and do the things that I do,”
Releford said.

Alabama made a final charge to get within 56-51 following a Key jam with 5:17
left, but the Crimson Tide got no closer. The clinching moment came with 1:55
remaining when Tyler Thornton intercepted a pass and rolled in for a layup to
give the Blue Devils a 68-59 cushion.

“They were a good driving team, very athletic,” Thronton said of the Crimson
Tide. “They had a really good guard in Releford. Quinn did an amazing job of
staying in front of him and keeping him off the paint. In the halfcourt we did
a really good job of communicating and playing together and limiting them to
one shot.”

Game Notes

The Blue Devils have won 27 consecutive regular-season tournament games …
Duke is 20-2 in the NIT Season Tip-Off with 14 consecutive victories. Duke’s
last Preseason NIT defeat came on Nov. 29, 1996 against Indiana … Thornton
had five steals.