No. 4 Duke outlasts Wake ForestFeb 29, 2012 - 7:38 AM
Mason Plumlee added 12 points and Austin Rivers scored 10 for the Blue Devils (26-4, 13-2 ACC), who avoided a let down ahead of Saturday's regular-season finale at home against North Carolina on Saturday night.
The Tar Heels are 12-2 in conference play and host Maryland on Wednesday.
Tony Chennault and Nikita Mescheriakov scored 18 points apiece for Wake Forest (13-16, 4-11).
Chennault and Travis McKie, who scored 14 points, led a 19-2 run in the second half that cut the Demon Deacons' deficit from 23 points to six with under five minutes to play.
"I thought we played well and we got the lead, and I thought we let up just a little bit and they never let up," said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Indeed, Duke matched a season-high with its seventh straight win and went 8-0 in ACC road games for the third time in program history, but not without some tense moments down the stretch.
Chennault and McKie scored seven points apiece in Wake Forest's run, which cut Duke's lead from 65-42 to 67-61. Mescheriakov made a three-pointer from the right wing and McKie knocked down a jumper from above the foul line to cap the spurt.
The Blue Devils recovered, with Plumlee converting a three-point play after he was fouled on a layup for a 70-61 lead. Wake Forest cut the lead to six points four more times, but Duke answered on each occasion.
The last time came on McKie's layup in the final minute, but Chennault missed a three to trim the Wake Forest deficit even further. Kelly's free throws at the other end made it an eight-point game and there wasn't enough time for the Demon Deacons to make another real push.
"I am extremely proud of my basketball team, and the young men that we have on the basketball team in terms of their character, effort, desire and passion to do well," said Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik. "They're getting better, they're competing individually and collectively, they fought hard."
The Blue Devils led 39-28 at the break after out-shooting Wake Forest 44.8 percent to 40.7 percent in the first half. They out-shot the Demon Deacons 45.3 percent to 43.3 for the game, including making half of their 20 threes.
Duke beat Wake Forest at home, 91-73, on January 19 and has won five straight in the series. The Blue Devils lead the all-time series 160-77 and have won 25 of the last 30 meetings...Duke won seven in a row to start the season...The Blue Devils last went 8-0 in ACC road games during the 1999-2000 season...Wake Forest finishes the regular season at Georgia Tech on Saturday.
- DUKE: 79
WAKE FOREST: 71
Feb 28 11:01 PM
- DUKE: 39
WAKE FOREST: 28
Feb 28 9:48 PM
- DUKE: 0
WAKE FOREST: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Feb 28 9:07 PM
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