The Duke men’s basketball team hasn’t played in eleven days and it looked like it early on in the first half. But when Todd Zafirovski scores a career-high three points, you know the Blue Devils won big. They beat visiting Cornell, 88-47.
The win extended their home court non-conference winning streak to 99 games. Not bad for the recently crowned number 1 team in the country.
I thought the first five minutes of the second half would be important with how the first half played out (Duke led at the half, 41-30). It was. Duke went on an 8-0 run to start the half and put the game away quickly.
Cornell stayed in the game for most of the first half, but turnovers plagued them (14 in the first half).
In the second half, Duke stepped up their defense and held Cornell to just 17 points in the second half. Their shooting percentage went from 54.2% at the half to 36.4% when the game ended. They also turned the ball over 25 times.
Mason Plumlee was perfect from the field (8-of-8) and scored 18 points. He fell one rebound shy of a double-double with nine. He also blocked three shots. Seth Curry continues his hot shooting despite limited practice. He went 7-of-10 from the field for 20 points. He also had two steals.
Quinn Cook only took four shots (2-of-4) but dished out a career-high 12 assists compared to just one turnover. Rasheed Sulaimon continues to be impressive and play great defense for a freshman. He was 6-of-10 from the field for 16 points. He dished out three assists and had four steals.
With the blowout win and a another game tomorrow night, Coach K had a chance to play the bench. Alex Murphy did not play in the first half, but was all over the court when he got in. He scored seven points and hauled in three rebounds. Tyler Thornton did not score (0-for-4), but he dished out five assists, hauled in four rebounds, and had two steals.
Marshall Plumlee got his first action of the season, a few minutes in the first half. He recorded a rebound.
What blowout victories seem to cover up is Duke’s rebounding problems. Cornell out-rebounded Duke, 33-28 and 9-4 on the offensive end.
Duke is back on the court at Cameron Indoor Stadium tomorrow night against Elon. By then, they will have found out if Jabari Parker will be joining them next season. He is considered the number 2 recruit in the country.