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 this program 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 heading into its first ACC action this weekend.
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 helped the Blue Devils, making three of his four 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. De'Mon Brooks led the effort on the boards for the Wildcats, grabbing eight rebounds.
However, Davidson missed its first five shots of the second half and committed five early turnovers, falling behind in the early going.
Chris Czerapowicz broke the Wildcats' long cold shooting streak at the 13:51 mark of the second half, but Davidson was behind at the 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 play 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 in conference play on Saturday.
Duke starts ACC play Saturday when it hosts Wake Forest (7-5), while Davidson continues its SoCon slate when it 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."