Plumlee dominates as No. 1 Duke holds on to beat MarquetteNov 23, 2010 - 5:18 AM Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Mason Plumlee's eye-opening performance included a career-best 25 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks, as top-ranked Duke absorbed a blow and prevailed over Marquette, 82-77, in the semifinal round at the CBE Classic.
The Sprint Center, full of Kansas State fans for the second semifinal, got behind the upstart Golden Eagles (4-1), who came back from a double-digit deficit to square the contest on multiple occasions.
Yet, it was not enough against the talented Blue Devils (4-0), who got 18 points and nine rebounds from Nolan Smith and 14 points with six boards from preseason All-American Kyle Singler. Freshman Kyrie Irving added 11 points and seven assists for the nation's top team.
"We were very pleased with the win. That is a hard fought win and we knew it would be that way," said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "I thought our kids responded well to that type of pressure."
Duke will face Kansas State in the event's title game on Tuesday.
Jimmy Butler carried Marquette with 22 points and six rebounds, while Darius Johnson-Odom recovered from an 0-for-7 first half to contribute 13 points with six boards.
"We are not good enough to beat anyone let alone the best team in the country by not doing what it is we practice every day," said Marquette head coach Buzz Williams.
Trailing by 11 early in the second half, the Golden Eagles started attacking the backboards in a spirited rally. Johnson-Odom's conventional three-point play squared the contest at 53-53, and Jae Crowder's bucket moments later again evened the proceedings at 57 apiece.
From there, Duke went on one of its patented spurts with the aid of its pressure defense. Smith drained a three-pointer then a turnover led to an Andre Dawkins layup. Another steal by Irving resulted in a Plumlee slam dunk and another Plumlee jam in transition came off another open-floor Marquette turnover to cap nine successive points.
Marquette never seriously threatened down the stretch as the Blue Devils kept it at arm's length.
Duke scored eight of the game's first 10 points behind a vigorous effort from Plumlee, who scored four of the points and altered a shot on the defensive end. Duke doubled up the Golden Eagles, 14-7, just over six minutes in after a high-low offering from Plumlee to Singler, who reversed field on the baseline for a layup.
The Blue Devils capped a 13-2 scoring stretch on Seth Curry's three-pointer off a feed from the freshman Irving, pushing the advantage to 23-9 with just over nine minutes to play in the half. Marquette surged back with the next eight points from four different sources, the last a Davante Gardner mid-range jumper for a 23-17 game.
The margin grew back as high as 11 and settled at 40-31 after 20 minutes of game action. Singler paced Duke with 12 points and Smith added 11, as the Blue Devils connected on 55 percent of their shots. Butler was Marquette's best scoring option with 12 and Gardner had seven as the Golden Eagles made up for a lackluster 36-percent shooting half with six offensive rebounds and just seven turnovers.
Gardner scored nine points, while Junior Cadougan added five points and seven assists to just one turnover for the Golden Eagles...Curry was just 1-of-4 for three points in the victory...Mason's brother Miles Plumlee scored two points off the bench...Marquette connected on only 4-of-20 three-point attempts.
- DUKE: 82
Nov 22 9:41 PM
- DUKE: 40
Nov 22 8:26 PM
- DUKE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Nov 22 7:42 PM
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