DURHAM, N.C. - Duke faced a tough Santa Clara squad today, so what’s new with the Blue Devils schedule, huh? The Broncos’ knocked Duke back a bit early in the contest as the Blue Devils struggled from the free throw stripe and guarding Kevin Foster who went off in the first half for 18 points and finishing with 29 in the game.
As usual Duke adjusted at the half and rode the hot hand of Seth Curry who scored a Duke career high of 31 points. His career high of 23 points came while playing for Liberty versus VMI. Going 12 of 18 from the field, Curry squelched any comeback attempts by the Broncos as the second half.
Mason Plumlee was one again a beast, garnering a bevy of dunks and adding to his all time dunks leader at Duke total. Plumlee finished the game with yet another double-double of 22 points and 13 rebounds and after missing a few free throws early in the game, he nailed them down the stretch as Duke pulled away for a 90-77 win pushing their season record to 12-0.
Ryan Kelly also contributed with 10 points and 11 rebounds and his work on the glass was a big factor in another Duke victory over a quality opponent in Santa Clara who falls to 11-3 on the season.
The Blue Devils won the battle of the boards by out rebounding their opponent 40-28 and they scored 23 points off turnovers including 15 second chance points and 11 points on fast breaks.
For awhile it seemed as if Santa Clara was poised to push the game to the wire but a flagrant foul call on Yannick Antanga who had a cheap shot against Mason Plumlee seemed to fire the Blue Devils up and they never looked back after it happened.
“At the beginning they really knocked us back, but once we got strong we got really good shots. That was the biggest thing – just taking on their physically and playing our game,” said Cook.
It was obvious early on that the refs were letting the teams play today but it took the Blue Devils until half time to fully adjust to the way the game was called.
“It was a pretty good night for us all, They’re a good team – a really good team,” said Curry. Cook continued saying, “We were tested tonight and the whole team did a good job.”
Duke will travel to Charlotte to face Davidson on January 2nd before returning to Cameron for the opening game of the season against Wake Forest on January the 5th.
Game Notes - Quinn Cook had a career high 14 FG attempts and has at least one three pointer in five straight games. Curry had his first 30 point plus game at Duke, a career high 31 and he has scored in double figures in nine of eleven games this season. Kelly had five offensive rebounds and added a team leading 23rd block of the season. Mason Plumlee became the 61st player to reach 1000 points at Duke and has 20 or more points in five games this season.
Post game videos and highlights are on the way from Blue Devil Nation and Ball is Life, so check back in.