902 was a lot easier to accomplish than 901, as Coach K is now tied with mentor and long-time friend Bob Knight for most wins. The Duke men’s basketball team defeated visiting Presbyterian, 96-55 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Even former walk-on Todd Zafirovski, who earned a scholarship this year, got in on the action. He entered for the first time this season with about three minutes left and hauled in a rebound to the delight of the Cameron Crazies.
The Blue Devils starting lineup was the same as last night against Belmont: guards Austin Rivers, Seth Curry, and Andre Dawkins, with big men Mason and Miles Plumlee.
Presbyterian won the tip, but Curry was hot at the start. He led 5-0 quickly into the first half. Unlike last night against Belmont, Duke never let up against the Blue Hose. They led 53-30 at the half.
Presbyterian shot the ball well from behind the arc in the first half (4-of-7) and from the free throw line (10-of-11). However they had 11 turnovers and just couldn’t stop Duke’s drives to the basket. Rivers, Mason, and Ryan Kelly consistently took the ball to the hoop. Kelly finished the first half with 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting.
It was more of the same in the second half, but this time the Blue Devils bench got involved. Josh Hairston, who did not play against Belmont, was 4-for-6 with nine points and six rebounds. Quinn Cook was 2-for-4 with ten points. Towards the end, Coach K had the combination of Hairston, Cook, Tyler Thornton, Zafivorski, and Michael Gbinije on the floor.
Kelly finished the game as the team’s leading scorer with 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting (6-for-6 from the free throw line). Rivers finished with 15 points (5-of-8 shooting), six assists, and three steals to zero turnovers. Curry finished with ten points on 4-of-6 shooting with four rebounds and three assists. Both Mason and Miles scored 13 points. Miles had a double-double with 11 rebounds, while Mason had eight and two blocks.
The bad for the two big men: they went a combined 2-for-11 from the free throw line. The rest of the Blue Devils went 16-for-20 from the charity stripe. Duke did a much better job protecting the ball, as they committed just ten turnovers. They out-rebounded Presbyterian 41-22.
Next up for the Blue Devils is Michigan State on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden at 7pm ET. Coach K looks to become the winningest college basketball coach with his mentor Bob Knight expected to be calling the game for ESPN.
*The ESPNU camera crew again made it a point to show Doc Rivers in the crowd. I counted about seven times. They also showed Curry’s dad, Dell Curry, twice.