No. 17 Duke pulls out win over Wake Forest

The Sports Xchange

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke was determined to make sure a recent setback didn't fester.

The No. 17 Blue Devils needed time to overcome visiting Wake Forest, 79-71, on Tuesday night.


"It was great to come back out after that performance (two days earlier in a loss at Pittsburgh)," center Marshall Plumlee said. "This was the next step. We had to show maturity."

That along with second-half execution after countless offensive snags popped up in the first 20 minutes.

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Guard Grayson Allen scored 30 points and Duke responded from a second-half deficit at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

At the end of Duke's previous home game last week, Allen tripped a Florida State player and was reprimanded by the Atlantic Coast Conference the following day.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said that had an impact on how the sophomore played at Pittsburgh, but that his mind seemed clear for this game.

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Forward Brandon Ingram's 15 points, guard Matt Jones' 14 points and Plumlee's 13 points were enough help lift Duke (22-8, 11-6 ACC), which played its third game in six days. Plumlee also had 17 rebounds before fouling out.


After Wake Forest started clicking on offense in the second half, the Blue Devils showed that they could be efficient as well.

"There was some memorable basketball," Plumlee said. "Coach puts us in position to make reads."

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Duke freshman Derryck Thornton made a couple of baskets on drives to the lane as the Blue Devils extended their edge to 65-58. Those were his only field goals in the game.

Allen's 3-pointer made it 68-60, and most of the rest of Duke's points came on free throws. The Blue Devils were 25 of 38 from the foul line. Allen notched 14 points on free throws.

Duke has won seven of its last nine games to move within range of a top-four seed for the ACC Tournament. The Blue Devils complete the regular season against first-place North Carolina.

Forward Devin Thomas scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and guard Bryant Crawford had 15 points for Wake Forest (11-19, 2-16), which is the first ACC team to complete its regular season. Guard Codi Miller-McIntyre added 13 points and forward John Collins supplied 10 points.

"We've got to make sure we go in there and create some momentum for ourselves," Wake Forest coach Danny Manning said of the upcoming ACC Tournament.


Wake Forest hasn't won an ACC road game in two seasons under Manning, but the Demon Deacons threatened in this one.

Duke guard Matt Jones went to the bench with his fourth foul at the 13:35 mark, with Miller-McIntyre responding with a 3-point basket for a 54-51 Wake Forest lead.

The Demon Deacons scored on eight consecutive possessions at one point in the second half.

Wake Forest had lost 52 of its previous 54 ACC road games, yet was still tied with Duke with about 11 minutes left.

"We just beat ourselves, like we did tonight," Thomas said. "We're young (and it shows)."

Duke led 35-34 at halftime, but Wake Forest weathered several rough stretches despite trailing by eight points a couple of times.

Duke shot 28.6 percent from the field (10 of 35) in the first half, making it a strange stretch for a team averaging more than 86 points per game.

"We could not finish," Krzyzewski said. "There must have been eight to 10 shots right there."

After a 7-0 run for the Demon Deacons, they committed turnovers on three consecutive possessions.

Wake Forest had 13 turnovers to Duke's four by halftime, though the Blue Devils lost the ball on their final possession of the half.


NOTES: Wake Forest now has a 17-game losing streak in Cameron Indoor Stadium. ... This marked the 11th ranked opponent of the season for the Demon Deacons, with a 1-10 record in those games. That's the most ranked foes in a regular season in school history for Wake Forest. ... Duke won 91-75 in the season's first meeting at Wake Forest. ... Wake Forest was aware of its ACC Tournament situation even before the game. The Demon Deacons will be the No. 13 seed and play No. 12 seed North Carolina State next Tuesday in the tournament opener in Washington. ... Duke closes the regular season on Saturday night at home against No. 8 North Carolina, which will be playing for at least a share of first place in the ACC.

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