Duke begins title defense with rout of PrincetonNov 15, 2010 - 8:42 AM Durham, NC (Sports Network) - Nolan Smith scored 22 points and fellow senior Kyle Singler added 16, as the top-ranked Duke Blue Devils opened their title defense with a 97-60 victory over Princeton as part of the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic.
Duke, opening the season ranked No. 1 for the seventh time in school history, boasts a roster just as talented -- if not more so -- than the team that captured the program's fourth championship last season.
The most notable newcomer had a terrific debut, as freshman Kyrie Irving scored 17 points, handed out nine assists and grabbed four rebounds for the Blue Devils (1-0), who forced 27 turnovers in the rout.
"He played a terrific game," Smith said of Irving. "You wouldn't know he's a freshman. He played like a veteran."
Dan Mavraides and Ian Hummer netted 16 and 14 points, respectively, for the Tigers (1-1), who opened their season with an overtime win over Rutgers on Friday.
"Obviously the opportunity to face the defending champ is pretty special. We wanted for it to come out differently," said Princeton head coach Sydney Johnson.
Smith made a pair of layups to help Duke jump out to a 10-2 lead, but Princeton, favored to win the Ivy League this season, hung tough and was within 34-28 following a T.J. Bray three-pointer with under two minutes to play in the opening half.
Smith and Singler answered with threes, and two free throws from Irving in the final seconds gave Duke a healthy 42-28 cushion at the break.
The Blue Devils led by double digits the entire second half. Two Irving free throws less than five minutes in pushed it to 56-36, and it reached 30 when Seth Curry made a trio of free throws at the midway point.
The Blue Devils have won 29 straight home openers and 78 consecutive non- conference home games...Duke has won all but one of the 19 matchups between the schools...Curry, the brother of former Davidson All-American Stephen, scored 14 points in his debut for Duke, which got 13 points from Andre Dawkins...Princeton shot just 8-of-19 from the foul line.
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