Duke outlasts Wake Forest, 75-70
Posted January 30, 2013
Winston-Salem, N.C. — FINAL: Duke 75, Wake Forest 70
In a back-and-forth 40 minutes of basketball, Duke was able to prevail over Wake Forest, winning 75-70 behind a career high 32 points from Mason Plumlee.
3:48 2nd: Wake 66, Duke 65
Mason Plumlee is seeking his first 30-point game but Duke trails Wake Forest by one at the final media timeout.
7:48 2nd: Wake 60, Duke 58
A solid back-and-forth is transpiring in Winston-Salem as the Deacons have regained a slim two-point lead at the under-8 timeout.
The storylines remain Wake balance has Thomas, Harris and McKie in double figures. Duke is led by Plumlee inside, but foul trouble is preventing him from playing defense.
11:18 2nd: Duke 56, Wake 52
Mason Plumlee has a career high 29 points and Duke was threatening to pull away with an eight-point lead, but three Wake Forest starters are in double figures and the game remains close in Winston Salem.
15:36 2nd: Duke 48, Wake 44
Mason Plumlee continues to fill the stat sheet and has 23 points as the Blue Devils have opened up a slim lead to open the second half.
Concern for Plumlee lies in his three fouls to this point - all three offensive.
HALFTIME: Duke 40, Wake 40
Mason Plumlee leads the way with 19 points and five rebounds but Wake Forest has balanced contributions and is tied with the Blue Devils at half, 40-40.
Duke also has 10 points from Seth Curry and Quinn Cook has contributes seven points with four assists.
Wake Forest has 10 points from CJ Harris, nine from Devin Thomas and eight with six assists from Travis McKie.
Fouls continue to be an issue for Duke as Plumlee, Jefferson ans Sulaimon all have two.
3:37 1st: Wake 37, Duke 36
Mason Plumlee has a season-best for any half this season with 17 points, but Wake Forest has balanced scoring from Devin Thomas and CJ Harris and continues to lead Duke late in the first half.
Foul trouble may become an issue as all seven Duke players to have seen the court have committed at least one, Sulaimon and Jefferson each have two.
7:52 1st: Wake 28, Duke 27
Wake Forest continues to play with emotion and both teams are active on the scoreboard as the Deacons hold a one-point lead on Duke at the under-8 timeout.
Mason Plumlee leads all scorers with 14 points and has added thre rebounds and two steals to fill the stat sheet. Wake's eight turnovers are helping the Blue Devils stay close as Duke has made just one three.
11:50 1st: Wake 17, Duke 14
Wake had stretched their lead to eight before Duke evened things up at 14. A Travis McKie three-pointer for the Deacons is the difference at the second media break.
15:52 1st: Wake 9, Duke 6
Devin Thomas is fired up and the Demon Deacons are too at the first media timeout as they have a 9-6 lead on Duke.
Thomas and Codi Miller-McIntyre each have four points for Wake. Duke's Quinn Cook has four to lead the Devils.
20:00 1st: Duke at Wake Forest
Duke is winless on the road in the ACC and the Deacs are yet to lose at home in conference. Duke will start Quinn Cook, Seth Curry, Rasheed Sulaimon, Amile Jefferson and Mason Plumlee to try and change that.
Seeking the consistency the team had earlier in the season, the fifth-ranked Duke Blue Devils play a couple of games outside of Durham this week, starting with Wednesday's ACC showdown with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils have been ranked atop the polls twice this season, and with victories over teams like Kentucky, Minnesota, VCU, Louisville and Ohio State, the lofty status was certainly justified. However, ACC play has caught up to Duke, which has split its last four games, with losses at NC State and at Miami-Florida and wins at home against Georgia Tech and most recently, Maryland (84-64).
A lack of consistency is something that has plagued Jeff Bzdelik's Demon Deacons all season long. Wake Forest comes into this contest at a mere 10-9 overall, a mark that includes a 3-4 league ledger. The Demon Deacons have lost three of their last four outings and unfortunately, were unable to build on a shocking upset of nationally-ranked NC State last week by dropping an 82-62 decision at Georgia Tech this past weekend.
Duke holds a 161-77 advantage in the all-time series with its local rival and has won the last six meetings. The Blue Devils are seeking the regular-season sweep after posting an 80-62 victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium in the ACC opener on Jan. 5.
It was all about the starting five for Duke last time out, as the quintet combined for 79 of the team's 84 total points in a 20-point romp over the Terrapins. Freshman Rasheed Sulaimon netted a career-high 25 points to lead the way. Mason Plumlee poured in 19 points, followed by Seth Curry (13 pts), Quinn Cook (11 pts) and Amile Jefferson (11 pts). Duke doled out a season-high 18 assists in the win, was 11-of-22 from 3-point range and only turned the ball over four times (the fewest in a game since 2002).
Duke boasts of a +15.0 scoring margin, so the team possesses the ability to win games at either end of the floor. The Blue Devils are averaging 78.2 ppg and are one of the nation's top 3-point shooting teams at .411 (fifth nationally). Despite the long-range accuracy, Duke is led by the interior dominance of Plumlee. The senior forward is shooting a hefty .582 from the floor and leads the team in both scoring (17.4 ppg) and rebounding (11.2 rpg). Curry (15.7 ppg) is the team's resident sniper (.429 from 3-point range), especially with Ryan Kelly (13.4 ppg) sidelined with a foot injury. Sulaimon (12.0 ppg) and Cook (11.1 ppg) add to the scoring deluge.
C.J. Harris netted 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, but it did little to keep Wake Forest competitive in a rout by Georgia Tech last weekend. Travis McKie added 10 points, Codi Miller-McIntyre finished with nine points, while Devin Thomas tallied eight points and 13 rebounds. However, Wake shot just .351 from the floor in the loss, while the Yellow Jackets drained .542 from the field.
A lack of scoring depth is the primary concern in Winston-Salem this season. The Demon Deacons are averaging just 68.1 ppg this year, and are fueled primarily by the one-two punch of McKie and Harris. McKie is the team's frontcourt presence, leading the way in both scoring (15.1 ppg) and rebounding (8.0 rpg). Harris is the top scoring option in the backcourt, netting 14.8 ppg. Miler-McIntyre is a distant third at 8.3 ppg.
Wake simply lacks the personnel this season to knock off the Blue Devils. Duke really turned it up a notch in the win over Maryland and should be able to carry that momentum into this contest.