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Cook leads Duke to 68-40 win over Clemson

Posted January 8, 2013

FINAL: Quinn Cook's 27 point game gave the Blue Devils a 68-40 win over Clemson.


The Duke Blue Devils' reign as the nation's top-ranked team continues, and their next game has them playing host to ACC rival Clemson on Tuesday night.

Clemson has been decent through the first two months of the season, posting an 8-5 record. The Tigers had been winners of two in a row -- South Carolina State (77-41) and The Citadel (92-51) -- before closing out a three-game homestand last Saturday with a 71-66 defeat at the hands of Florida State. This bout marks their true road game outside the state of South Carolina.

After beginning the season ranked eighth in the country, Duke has risen all the way to the top spot following an outstanding 14-0 start, marking the sixth time in school history it's accomplished that feat. The team's spectacular run includes a pair of wins over top-five foes in Louisville (76-71) and Ohio State (73-68), and it is one of only four teams still unbeaten at this point in the season -- Michigan, Arizona and Wyoming being the others. The Blue Devils recently opened their ACC slate with an 80-62 victory over Wake Forest on Saturday.
Duke has won four straight meetings against Clemson, improving its mark in the all-time series to an astounding 103-29.

Clemson trailed by as many as 16 points to Florida State in the second half of its most recent outing, and even though it came back to make it just a three- point contest down the stretch, it could never get over the hump as it suffered the five-point loss. The Tigers have seen better days from the field, as they shot just 38.9 percent, but Devin Booker experienced no such struggles as he drained 8-of-11 shots for 19 points while adding 11 rebounds. K.J. McDaniels tacked on 15 points, Jordan Roper chipped in 11 off the bench, and Milton Jennings finished with 10. On the season, the Tigers aren't especially impressive at the offensive end (.454 FG percentage, 66.6 ppg), but they have been more than productive enough considering their outstanding scoring defense (56.2 ppg), which ranks third in the ACC. Booker has been consistently strong in the frontcourt, making nearly 60 percent of his field goal attempts while leading the team in scoring (11.9 ppg) and rebounding (7.5 rpg). McDaniels (11.4 ppg) has been disruptive at the defensive end (1.9 bpg, 1.5 spg), and Jennings adds 10.1 ppg and 5.2 rpg. Duke Logo More Duke Stories

Duke opened up a 17-point lead in the opening half against Wake Forest on Saturday, and never looked back en route to another comfortable win. The Blue Devils shot 46 percent from the floor, including 11-of-24 from 3-point range, while winning the turnover battle by a 19-6 margin. Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly each scored 22 points, while Mason Plumlee logged his ninth double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Rasheed Sulaimon also contributed to the balanced attack with 12 points. Not surprisingly, Duke has been outstanding at both ends of the court this season, averaging 80.1 ppg while allowing just 61.8 ppg for an ACC-best scoring margin of plus-18.3. Plumlee is building a strong resume' for conference player of the year, ranking second in scoring (18.4 ppg), first in rebounding (11.3 ppg), and fifth in blocked shots (1.5 bpg), all while shooting an outstanding 63.4 percent from the floor. Curry has been a solid second-scoring option, putting together strong percentages from 3-point range (.408) and the foul line (.804) on his way to 16.6 ppg. Rounding out perhaps the best starting five in the nation is Kelly (13.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.8 bpg), Sulaimon (11.9 ppg) and Quinn Cook (10.3 ppg, 6.2 apg, 1.8 spg).

Clemson has shown promise this season, but it will simply be overmatched in this one by a powerful Duke squad in front of a rowdy crowd at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

43 Comments

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  • JohnnyVoodoo Jan 9, 2013

    Nobody's even talking about the turdholes anymore because nobody cares... all eyes are on Duke and NC State these days. Should be a great game this weekend.

  • StunGunn Jan 8, 2013

    View quoted thread



    Should be one heck of a game!

  • StunGunn Jan 8, 2013

    View quoted thread



    Well, Hokie, I was off by 2 points - I said Duke would win by 30. That said, I was way off in the way I thought Duke would start the second half. I thought they'd come out on fire, but Clemson was able to make a lot of steals and forced Duke into uncharacteristic turnovers. The outcome was never in doubth, though. Cook had a monster game.

    Maryland sure did improve over last year.

    I agree about Carolina's chemistry, or lack thereof.

    Green is VT's best player, but he can't win all by himself. Duke is by far the best team in the ACC. I'm looking forward to seeing Duke at the PNC on Saturday.

  • StunGunn Jan 8, 2013

    View quoted thread



    It was an ugly game, but Duke played well enough that the outcome was never in doubt. I remember the run and gun games Duke and Carolina used to play. They were a lot of fun to watch.

  • 321oohaw Jan 8, 2013

    Juggernaut...Can't beat 'em...I feel sorry for UNC

  • VT1994Hokie Jan 8, 2013

    This particular article doesn't match, or really talk much about the Clemson game.

  • uncsuckz Jan 8, 2013

    Looking forward to the State game Saturday at high noon. It'll be a close one as they're playing at NCSU's barn this time around. I believe the Duke seniors will be the difference in the game. Duke 78 State 71

  • mxteam44 Jan 8, 2013

    View quoted thread



    We have a winner!!!!! :-)

  • mike honcho Jan 8, 2013

    Cook is having himself quite a game.

  • VT1994Hokie Jan 8, 2013

    View quoted thread

    You hit it. 42-24. I see Maryland doing well this season. One more win and they should be ranked. I would place them along side NC State right now. I see State as being over-rated.

    UVA will be another tough team. They already have the best defense in the ACC. They play smart for Bennett. Miami is well coached too. I see UNC needing to improve on defense to be in the top 4-5 today. They have the talent to make it happen. Chemistry? It's not there in what I've seen.

    VT hasn't done much since beating Iowa and OK State. 7 scholarship guys usually can't cut it.

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