Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Freshman Cam Reddish swished two clutch 3-pointers in the final minutes to help No. 2 Duke stage a 23-point comeback and hold off upset-minded No. 16 Louisville.
"Well, we were very fortunate," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told reporters. "That was a great win for us, that their team played us for 30 minutes, not just outplayed, they outcompeted us. I commend them."
"They probably were more deserving of winning," Krzyzewski added. "But, in the last 10 minutes, we were spectacular, and in order to overcome that difference in competitive spirit, needed to be spectacular because it was that pronounced."
Williamson was his typical high-flying, physical self. Barrett broke out the Eurostep in the second half, weaving between the Cardinals' defense and finishing with a soft touch at the rim.
Williamson scored a game-high 27 points and had 12 rebounds and three steals in the victory. Reddish scored 22 points. Barrett chipped in 13 points with seven rebounds and four assists. Jordan Nwora led the Cardinals with 23 points and 12 rebounds in the loss.
The Cardinals (17-8) used an 8-2 run at the end of the first half to hold a 38-29 advantage at the break. Louisville poured it on in the second stanza, taking a 59-36 advantage on a Nwora 3-pointer with 9:58 remaining. Reddish made a 3-pointer about a minute later to answer the surge.
The trey sparked a 15-3 run, cutting the Cardinals' lead to 10 points with 5:17 remaining. Reddish later cut the lead to seven points with two successful free throws. Barrett made a layup before Reddish hit another 3-pointer to cut the lead to two points with 3:01 remaining. Nwora answered once again with a trey on the other end, but the Cardinals could not hold off the Blue Devils' rally.
"We were conscious of everything that was going on," Nwora said. "We knew we were up 23. We knew the situation. We knew how much time was left. We just gave the game away."
"That's the easiest way to put it ... it was our game to win and we gave it away."
Tre Jones cut the lead to three points with a layup before Barrett and Reddish teamed up for one of the night's best highlights. Barrett dribbled near the 3-point line before blindly bouncing the ball between his legs, finding a trailing Reddish. The freshman sharpshooter hit another 3-pointer to tie the score at 69-69.
Reddish made two free throws after a controversial foul call on Ryan McMahon with 14 seconds remaining to seal the comeback victory for Duke (22-2).
"[Coach K] said he don't coach losers," Williamson told ESPN after the win. "Only coaches winners. He said 'go out there and play hard' and he could coach us to a win.
Duke hosts North Carolina State and Louisville hosts Clemson on Saturday.