Blue Devils win but Dawkins hurt

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 07, 2011
Freshman Austin Rivers scored 17 points to help No. 7 Duke beat Colorado State 87-64 on Wednesday night. Andre Dawkins added 15 first-half points for the Blue Devils (8-1), who were playing their first game since last week's lopsided loss at Ohio State. Duke had no trouble knocking down shots and finished the game shooting 56 percent, with Dawkins and Mason Plumlee helping the Blue Devils build a 17-point halftime margin. Dawkins didn't play in the second half after sustaining lower-back spasms late in the first half. Greg Smith scored 18 points to lead the Rams (5-4), who had stretches of offensive success to keep the game from getting completely out of hand. But Duke ran off 10 straight points to build a double-digit lead in the first half before pushing ahead 47-30 by the break. The Blue Devils hadn't played since last week's 85-63 loss to the Buckeyes, their most lopsided loss of the past two-plus seasons. Before that game, Duke had sprinted out of the gate with seven games in 13 days, including wins against Michigan and Kansas in the Maui Invitational over Thanksgiving. The Colorado State game was one of just four on the schedule in December for Duke. Dawkins and Plumlee helped Duke push ahead early. Dawkins hit six of his first seven shots, including three 3-pointers, after going scoreless and managing just a single shot in 19 minutes against Ohio State. Plumlee, meanwhile, was active early, hitting all six of his shots in the half to rack up 13 points, seven rebounds, four steals and four blocks by halftime. That included one play in which Plumlee stole a pass and sent the ball in transition to Dawkins, who lofted a soft alley-oop pass back to Plumlee for the dunk and the 41-30 lead. At that point, the two had 12 of Duke's 16 baskets. Rivers took over in the second half, hitting three 3s and scoring 12 points after halftime. During one second-half stretch, Duke scored on seven straight and nine of 10 possessions over a 7-minute stretch. Ryan Kelly scored three straight baskets during that run and Rivers hit a pair of 3s, though the Blue Devils had trouble increasing the lead because Colorado State matched them basket-for-basket over a 2 1/2-minute stretch. Once Duke finally started getting some stops, the Blue Devils' offense took care of things and pushed the lead to 72-47 when reserve Josh Hairston charged in on the left side unguarded and threw down a powerful slam with about 9 minutes left.
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