Duke makes for quiet night in Smith Center - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Duke makes for quiet night in Smith Center

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Seth Curry in the first half and Mason Plumlee in the second half made for a quiet Smith Center for most of Saturday night.

Duke's seniors combined for 43 points as the No. 3 Blue Devils built a 20-point first-half lead and rolled to a 69-53 win over rival North Carolina in their regular-season ending ACC basketball game.

The visiting Blue Devils (27-4, 14-4 ACC) shot 69 percent in the first half as Curry made his first seven shots on the way to a 20-point game.

Plumlee scored Duke's first 10 points after halftime as he finished with 23 points with 12 rebounds.

"Seth, he was just the best player on the court in the first half," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "In the second half we had the best player on the court in Mason."

Their production, and the efficient play from the surrounding Blue Devils, left UNC (22-9, 12-6) with little chance for a comeback. The Tar Heels' cold shooting eliminated all doubt.

UNC went 35 minutes before making its first 3-pointer. The Tar Heels shot 33.9 percent for the night, including 1 of 14 on 3-pointers, as its six-game winning streak came to an end.

"It was an exceptionally tough night for us," UNC coach Roy Williams said.

Duke scored on its first six possessions, with Curry scoring three of the baskets that helped the Blue Devils to a 14-0 lead.

Curry sank two of his trademark 3-pointers in the first half. More impressively, he added baskets from all over the court off dribble-drives.

"Seth Curry toyed with us in the first half," Williams said.

Curry scored on a bank shot and a floater in the lane, off a jump shot and even had scored while he was falling backwards.

Krzyzewski called Curry's first half, when he scored 18, "unbelievable."

"When you get a guy who has hot hand like that you have to get him the ball," Krzyzewski said.

Curry said he felt comfortable moving around the court against UNC's defense.

"I was able to create some space in different ways," Curry said. "I was just being aggressive. I felt like if I got my shot off it had a good chance of going in."

The rest of the Blue Devils didn't match Curry's pace, but they weren't far behind.

Duke shot 69.2 percent in the first half, making 18 of 26 shots. The Blue Devils were 5 of 9 on 3-pointers.

Meanwhile, UNC was as cold as Duke was hot.

The Tar Heels needed almost five minutes of play in the first half to make their first field goal. James Michael McAdoo scored it and was the Tar Heels' best offensive player before halftime.

Over the first 20 minutes, McAdoo made 4 of 7 shots, but the remainder of his teammates combined to go 5 of 26 as UNC shot a miserable 27.3 percent. The Tar Heels were 0 of 8 on 3-pointers.

"It all started defensively," Plumlee said. "Obviously Seth hit shots. He was hitting shots sitting down. Shots were going in. But really it was our defense setting the tone for the game."

Leading 42-24 at halftime, Duke turned to Plumlee, its 6-10 center, to put the game completely out of reach after halftime.

Plumlee scored Duke's first 10 points after intermission and had 15 of his 23 points in the second half.

"That's a man's half," Krzyzewski said. "Mason was superb in the second half."

Duke pushed its lead to as many as 25 points in the second half. UNC never got closer than 14 points after that.

Duke finished the night shooting 55.1 percent. The Blue Devils missed all six of their 3-pointers after halftime but it didn't really matter.

"To come in here against a team that was playing the best basketball in America and win like that is a testament to our hunger and our will," said Duke point guard Quinn Cook, who scored 12.

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