Durham, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Rodney Hood scored 30 points to lead No. 6 Duke to an 83-74 victory Tuesday over East Carolina in the East championship of the NIT Season Tip-off.
Jabari Parker scored 21 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had six blocks while Quinn Cook added 14 points and had 10 assists for Duke (4-1), which plays Alabama in the semifinals Nov. 27 at Madison Square Garden.
"You know I'd just rather play the team game, whatever I gotta do to help everybody out you know," said Parker about finding teammates and his own shots "Alex Murphy he helps me out in practices teaches me that shots are gonna be there but as long as you just play the whole game and don't play individually but finding other things because people are gonna be on me and people gonna be on hood and we got enough players to knock down tough shots."
The Blue Devils extended their non-conference home winning streak to 105 games.
Prince Williams scored 15 points with five rebounds and six assists, Akeem Richmond and Antonio Robinson added 13 points apiece and Paris Roberts- Campbell scored 11 points and pulled down eight rebounds for ECU (4-1).
ECU ended the first half strong defensively and came out with the same tenacity on the offensive end in the second half, pulling within 50-44 just over three minutes in.
"Well we did, yea we did, we would've lost. We brought alot of energy the last two nights, we played our butts off, this is not about duke not playing, we played hard tonight and we played hard last night," said Duke head coach Mike Kryzewski when asked about his teams energy level "we told our team, our team was up to play. They respected the heck out of East Carolina, don't undersell what they did by saying we weren't ready, we were ready and we played hard and I thought we brought great energy but so did they, this was a really good basketball game."
During the next eight minutes ECU continued to cut into the Blue Devil lead. The Pirates came within a point, 64-63, with 6:58 left on the clock but the Blue Devils later used a 7-0 run to seal the victory. Hood scored six of the last eight points for Duke.
With 12 minutes left into the first half the Blue Devils were a perfect 10- for-10 from the field and held a 21-7 lead. The Pirates, on the other hand, shot 3-for-14 and were 0-for-3 from beyond the arc at that point.
Duke finally missed a shot 1:13 later. After the hot start by the Blue Devils offense the teams traded baskets for much of the remainder of the first half.
The Pirates defense, however, played well enough to get within 11 points at halftime. ECU held Duke scoreless for the last 2:36 to make the score 43-32.
Duke has won 14 straight NIT Season Tip-Off games, dating back to an 85-69 loss to Indiana on Nov. 29, 1996 ... The Blue Devils' last loss at home to a non-ACC opponent was Feb. 26, 2000, against St. John's ... Duke is now 24-2 all-time in the NIT Season Tip-Off with four tournament titles ... The Pirates are 0-21 all-time against the Blue Devils with 19 losses at Cameron Indoor Stadium, though the teams hadn't met since 1991.