No. 1 Duke fends off Santa ClaraDec 29, 2012 - 8:50 PM
Mason Plumlee again filled the stat sheet with 22 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, while Ryan Kelly added 10 points and 11 boards in the 101st straight non-conference home win for the Blue Devils (12-0).
Kevin Foster paced Santa Clara (11-3) with 29 points, but it wasn't enough for the Broncos to post their first upset against a top-ranked opponent.
It was the fifth straight double-digit victory for Duke, though Saturday's game was hardly a blowout as the Broncos, winners of six in a row coming in, held a four-point lead early in the second half.
An elbow to the head of Plumlee five minutes after halftime woke up the sleeping giants. The Broncos were ahead, 45-44, at the time of Yannick Atanga's flagrant foul, and Plumlee's tying and go-ahead free throws ignited an 18-3 flurry, with most of the damage being done by Curry.
Curry netted 12 points during the six-minute barrage, showing off his range with a pair of 3-pointers and his ball-handling skills by getting to the rim for layups, including one that capped the surge for a 62-48 lead with just over nine minutes to play.
The closest the visitors got from there was nine after Foster hit from long range for an 84-75 game with two minutes remaining.
"I am proud of my guys; that was a heck of a win for us," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "The last 16 minutes when they took the lead, I thought we grew even more as a team."
Duke was down early, but looked like it was about to pull away with a 17-2 run midway through the first half. A Plumlee dunk made it 25-14 before Santa Clara showed it wasn't going away quietly by scoring on seven straight possessions.
"You have to come out fighting. You have to come out ready to play and not scared," Santa Clara head coach Kerry Keating said about playing in Durham.
Keating's team trailed at the break, 38-36, before using a 7-0 run early in the second half to take a 45-41 advantage prior to Duke's push.
Quinn Cook chipped in 15 points for Duke, which shot 33 free throws to Santa Clara's 15 ... The Blue Devils won the rebounding battle, 40-28 ... The Broncos had just nine assists on 28 made field goals ... Evan Roquemore netted 17 points for the Broncos, who open West Coast Conference play against San Francisco next Wednesday ... Duke plays at Davidson next Wednesday in its last non-conference game.
- SANTA CLARA: 77
Dec 29 2:05 PM
- SANTA CLARA: 36
Dec 29 12:53 PM
- SANTA CLARA: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Dec 29 12:03 PM
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