Basketball / NCAA / No. 1 Duke’s Big Man Has Another Big Night Against Wake Forest

The Associated Press
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
The Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. - Ryan Kelly had another big day against Wake Forest, scoring a season-high 22 points in No. 1 Duke's 80-62 rout of the Demon Deacons yesterday.

Seth Curry also had 22 points, Quinn Cook had a career-high 14 assists and Kelly finished with his fourth straight 20-point performance against Wake Forest.

The Blue Devils (14-0, 1-0 ) shot 46 percent in their Atlantic Coast Conference opener and hit 11 3-pointers - including six during the 25-7 first-half run that put them up big. They pushed their lead well into the 20s with a Curry-led 18-6 run out of the break, in which they scored on nine of their first 10 possessions of the half.

Travis McKie had 22 points and 11 rebounds for Wake Forest (7-6, 0-1 ), which had nearly as many turnovers, 19, as its 23 field goals and had its three-game winning streak snapped.

Mason Plumlee added 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Rasheed Sulaimon scored 12 points for Duke, which was simply too much for a rebuilding Wake Forest team that has only three healthy nonfreshmen on scholarship.

Kelly, who entered averaging 21 points in the previous three meetings in the series, finished one point shy of the career high he reached in his last game against the Demon Deacons 11 months ago. He will get another crack at them when the Blue Devils visit Winston-Salem on January 30.

He had 17 points at halftime here, including 13 of Duke's first 19, with three 3s - including two some 45 seconds apart - during the Blue Devils' first big run. His 3-pointer two-and-a-half minutes into the second half pushed him past the 20-point mark for the fifth time in his career. He fouled out with 7:25 left.

Curry, who had 14 points in the opening 20 minutes, capped the first burst with a four-point play that made it 38-21 with 4:18 until the break. He had three baskets during the second run that turned this one into a full-fledged rout.

Those two seniors had the Blue Devils well on their way to their sixth straight win in the ACC's oldest series, and their sixth 14-0 start under coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Duke didn't make a 2-point shot until Plumlee's dunk off an alley-oop pass 11 minutes in - but didn't need to, not with the 3s falling like this: Each of the Blue Devils' first seven field goals came from behind the arc, and Duke finished 11 of 24 from 3-point range.

Even Cook's uncharacteristically cold shooting was largely inconsequential: The sophomore point guard was 0 for 11.

CJ Harris finished with 19 points and freshman Devin Thomas had 12 rebounds for Wake Forest, which was denied its first victory over a top-five team since its most recent one in the series - a 70-68 upset of then-No. 1 Duke in 2009, back when the Demon Deacons themselves were in the top 10. They haven't beaten Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium since 1997.

Duke Blue Devils forward Amile Jefferson works to control a loose ball against the Davidson Wildcats during the first half of their NCAA basketball game in Charlotte.Credit: Reuters