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Elon (6-4) at (1) Duke (10-0)



Thursday, December 20, 7 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Nicholas DeLorenzo, Associate College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: Cameron Indoor Stadium (9,314) -- Durham, North Carolina. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Elon 4-1, Duke 5-0. Away Record: Elon 2-3, Duke 0-0. Neutral Record: Elon 0-0, Duke 5-0. Conference Record: Elon 1-1, Duke 0-0. Series Record: Duke leads, 17-7.

GAME NOTES: The Duke Blue Devils will attempt to continue their reign as the nation's top-ranked team on Thursday night when they host the Elon Phoenix at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Following a 74-59 loss to Butler in its season opener, Elon ripped off four straight wins, highlighted by a road victory over South Carolina, 65-53. The Phoenix have since fallen back to 6-4 by losing three of their last five. They participated in the Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase last Saturday against UMass, but after forcing overtime with a 3-pointer in the waning seconds of regulation, they fell in overtime, 78-73.

Not only are the Blue Devils off to a fantastic 10-0 start to the season, but they have proven their greatness by toppling some of the best teams in the country, whether it be Kentucky on Nov. 13 (75-68) or Louisville in the Battle 4 Atlantis championship game (76-71), or Ohio State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge (76-71). Duke stepped aside from its rigorous early-season schedule to play a much easier opponent on Wednesday night, taking care of visiting Cornell in an 88-47 final. It was the 99th straight non-conference win at home for Duke, with the last loss in such a game coming against St. John's in 2000.

Duke has a handle on the all-time series with Elon, 17-7, which includes a 98-72 triumph in the last meeting in December of 2010.

The Phoenix fought tooth and nail against UMass, and had it been able to shoot greater than 29.9 percent from the field (including 8-of-35 from 3-point range), they probably could have pulled off the win. Jack Isenbarger led the way with 22 points, but that was mostly a product of his high volume of field goal attempts (6-of-20). He also added six rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Lucas Troutman recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Sebastian Koch narrowly missed one with 15 points and nine boards. Elon hasn't been particularly efficient with its field goal attempts this season (.393), but it's able to hold on to a plus-6.4 scoring margin by playing tight defense (.391 FG percentage allowed). Isenbarger (14.7 ppg) makes his shots at just a 35.4 percent clip, but he's able to offset that somewhat by shooting 84.8 percent from the foul line. Troutman (14.6 ppg) has been great in the paint with 6.4 rpg, 2.4 bpg and 1.6 spg.

Duke's 41-point victory over Cornell was its most dominant win of the season, and most of the onslaught came in the second half where it outscored the Big Red by a 47-17 margin. The Blue Devils shot a lofty 56.7 percent from the field and won the turnover battle by an astounding 26-10 margin. Seth Curry was fantastic, shooting 7-of-10 from the floor for 20 points, while Mason Plumlee was perhaps even better, making all eight of his field goal attempts for 18 points, adding nine rebounds and three blocks as well. Rasheed Sulaimon chipped in 16 points and three steals. Without question, Plumlee has been one of the nation's elite players this season, as he's shooting greater than 61 percent from the floor for 18.9 ppg. He's more than just a scorer, adding 11.1 rpg and nearly two blocks per contest. Seth Curry (16.5 ppg) is also an outstanding scorer, making more than 40 percent of his 3-pointers and better than 90 percent of his free throws. Rounding out perhaps the best starting lineup in the country is Sulaimon (13.4 ppg), Ryan Kelly (11.8 ppg) and Quinn Cook (10.4 ppg).

Playing on back-to-back nights could cause Duke to come out a bit sluggish, but as one of the most disciplined and talented teams in the nation, it will surely overcome any level of fatigue, especially playing at home against an inferior opponent. It might not be the blowout they just enjoyed, but the Blue Devils shouldn't have to sweat this one out for long.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Duke 83, Elon 64

12/20 10:37:41 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
TOR 2
NYY 0
Final
CWS 6
DET 3
Final
STL 1
CHC 5
Final
PIT 3
CIN 2
Final
BAL 3
MIN 2
Final
TAM 7
BOS 0
Final
KAN 2
CLE 3
Final
CWS 4
DET 8
Final
ATL 0
MIA 4
Final
NYM 2
PHI 7
Final
HOU 2
TEX 0
Final
ARI 0
COL 2
Final
STL 13
CHC 2
Final
SDP 2
LOS 1
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
ANA 2
OAK 0
Final
SEA 1
WAS 3
1:07pm Today
TOR
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
PHI
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
2:10pm Today
CWS
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
TEX
 
2:15pm Today
STL
CHC
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
MIL
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
LOS
 
4:10pm Today
SEA
WAS
 
5:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
Final
MICH 52
APPST 14
Final
NAVY 17
OSU 34
Final
UAB 48
TROY 10
Final
UVA 20
UCLA 28
Final
PURD 43
WMICH 34
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
UMASS 7
BC 30
Final
NW 24
CAL 31
Final
NEB 55
FATL 7
Final
UMO 27
MARS 42
Final
ND 48
RICE 17
Final
MIZZ 38
SDST 18
Final
ALA 33
WVU 23
Final
AUB 45
ARK 21
Final
STAN 45
UCD 0
Final
UGA 45
CLEM 21
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
Final
KSU 14
OHIO 17
Final
OKLA 48
LATU 16
Final
KST 55
SAUST 16
Final
USC 52
FRES 13
Final
MSST 49
SMISS 0
Final
OKST 31
FSU 37
Final
TEX 38
UNT 7
Final
NMU 24
UTEP 31
8:05pm Saturday
UF 0
IDAHO 0
Final
LSU 28
WISC 24
Final
OREG 62
SD 13
 
Final
HAW 16
WASH 17
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
UTST
7:30pm Tonight
BAY
SMU
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR