Cook lifts No. 1 Duke past Clemson

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 08, 2013
Quinn Cook scored a career-high 27 points and No. 1 Duke held Clemson to its lowest-scoring half in 12 years in a 68-40 victory over the Tigers on Tuesday night. Ryan Kelly added 12 points in the first half but sat out the second with what team officials said was a right leg injury. The Blue Devils (15-0, 2-0 ACC) shot 48 percent, built a 42-31 rebounding advantage and pulled away down the stretch to improve to 58-4 at home against the Tigers. Devin Booker had 12 points and 15 rebounds for Clemson (8-6, 0-2), which had season lows for points and shooting percentage (28 percent) and shot 12 percent in its brutal first half. The Tigers had just 10 points at halftime, their fewest since scoring nine against Wake Forest in 2001. Still, Clemson made things interesting briefly in the second half, closing to 34-22 on Adonis Filer's layup with 15 1/2 minutes left. That came after Duke's third consecutive turnover in the backcourt, and had an incensed coach Mike Krzyzewski thrusting his fist on the court as he called a timeout. Tyler Thornton rattled in a 3-pointer two possessions later, and Seth Curry followed that with a jumper to push it to 39-22 and put Duke back in control. Clemson didn't get closer than 14 points the rest of the way. Mason Plumlee finished with 13 rebounds, his ACC-leading 10th double-figures rebounding game this season, for the Blue Devils, who opened with 15 wins for the sixth time under Krzyzewski. For Cook, it was a strong bounce-back performance after he missed all 11 of his shots -- but had a career-high 14 assists -- three days earlier in a rout of Wake Forest. He was 12 of 16 in this one with three of Duke's eight 3-pointers and easily surpassed his previous high of 17 points two months ago against Minnesota. Yet neither he nor anyone else could make anything early in this one. The teams combined to miss their first 16 shots over the first 5 1/2 minutes. But while Duke eventually warmed up, the Tigers spiraled to their coldest half in years. Clemson was 3 for 25, went nearly 8 minutes between field goals, managed just one basket over the final 12 1/2 minutes and didn't reach double figures until 2:39 before the break -- all tough numbers to overcome for a team looking for just its third victory against a No. 1 team and first since 2001. Kelly scored 10 points during a 16-2 run that included 13 straight points for Duke, and by halftime, he had outscored the entire Clemson team.
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