Second half run powers Duke past Davidson
Amidst a sea of fans wearing red and blue at Time Warner Cable Arena on Wednesday, the Duke men's basketball team overcame a tidal wave first half against Davidson with a second half typhoon.
The top-ranked Blue Devils (13-0) scored 12-straight points to start the second half on their way to a 67-50 victory against the Wildcats in Charlotte.
"It was a good win for us," said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "No one has any more respect for (Davidson) than I do. We've always had battles against them. Tonight was another battle."
Tied 29-29 at halftime, Duke outscored Davidson 38-21 in the second half on its way to finishing its non-conference schedule unbeaten.
Quinn Cook led the second half charge for the Blue Devils, scoring 13 of his 15 points in the second half.
"He kept the ball well, and he finished," Krzyzewski said of Cook. "He made a couple of outstanding plays. He is playing with a lot of confidence. He should be because he's played well to earn his own confidence and the confidence of others."
Ryan Kelly also played solidly for the Blue Devils, making 3-of-4 attempts from behind the 3-point line. Kelly led all Duke scorers in Wednesday's game with 18 points.
Davidson (7-6) kept its first half score with Duke knotted by holding a 22-15 edge in rebounding, including nine offensive boards.
De'Mon Brooks grabbed eight rebounds to led the first half effort on the glass for the Wildcats.
Despite a solid start to its game, Davidson fell behind in the early going of the second half by missing its first five shots and committing five quick turnovers.
Chris Czerapowicz broke the Wildcats' long cold shooting streak at the 13:51 mark of the second half, but Davidson was already behind at that point by double digits.
"Our defense was outstanding tonight," Krzyzewski said. "In the first half, we gave up offensive rebounds, but in the second half, we didn't. To me, that was the key to the ball game. They played really good defense, too, but our execution in the second half was really good."
Wildcats forward Jake Cohen tried to get his team back into the game, scoring 13 of his game-high 19 points in the second half.
However, the Blue Devils made clutch shots and free throws down the stretch en route to defeating the Wildcats for the 24th consecutive time.
Brooks chipped in eight points and 12 rebounds for Davidson.
Duke and Davidson are both back in action Saturday.
The Blue Devils start ACC play Saturday when they host Wake Forest (7-5), while the Wildcats continue their SoCon slate when they welcomes UNC-Greensboro (2-9, 1-0).
Krzyzewski said his team's early success is a positive, but this weekend's match up with the Demon Deacons will be a challenge.
"Sometimes a non-conference schedule like that can wear you out," he said. "We want to make sure we're refreshed. For our guys go 13-0 with our schedule is just magnificent. It's just terrific, but we're all 0-0. We play Wake Forest. They beat Xavier tonight. They'll be good. They are hungry."