Dawkins' 24 lead Duke past Clemson

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 16, 2012
Andre Dawkins hasn't always been counted on to make the winning plays at Duke. Maybe that will change after Dawkins' performance at Clemson. Dawkins, a 6-foot-4 junior, mostly has come off the bench in his college career, starting 16 of 91 games. But on Sunday night he outplayed the starters, making five 3-pointers and scoring 24 points to help No. 8 Duke record a 73-66 victory over Clemson. Dawkins' showing was all the more clutch since star guards Austin Rivers and Seth Curry combined for 13 points, less than half their usual production of almost 28 points a game. ''Andre is capable of that if we do a good job getting him open,'' Duke forward Mason Plumlee said. ''He created stuff for himself as well. He met the challenge today and played just unbelievable.'' The Blue Devils (15-2, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) overcame a sluggish start to pull away from the Tigers (9-8, 1-2). Duke had to overcome a late rally by Clemson, which cut a 13-point lead to 68-64 in the final minute on two 3-pointers by Andre Young. But Dawkins made three foul shots down the stretch as the Blue Devils beat Clemson for the 26th time in the last 28 meetings. If Dawkins ''has a bad night, we're going to win the game,'' Tigers coach Brad Brownell said. Milton Jennings had 16 points for the Tigers, and Devin Booker added 12 points and 13 rebounds. Duke looked as if it had put the game out of reach when it opened the second half on a 14-7 run. Quinn Cook had a jumper and a 3-pointer and Seth Curry added a bucket. Miles Plumlee put back his brother Mason's miss for two more points. By the time Dawkins made his third 3-pointer of the game, the Blue Devils were ahead 46-33. The Blue Devils were still in front by 10 points on Rivers' layup less with less than seven minutes to go when Clemson put on a final charge. Andre Young hit a 3-pointer and K.J. McDaniel a basket to cut the lead to 65-61. After Dawkins answered with his final three, Young came back with another long-range shot to bring the Tigers within four one last time. That's when Dawkins extended the margin with his foul shots and Clemson could not respond. Dawkins said he was comfortable in his role, providing Duke a spark in whatever area's lacking during a game. ''Pretty much everybody on this team can score the ball, so I doubt if you'll see 20 points game after game,'' Dawkins said. ''But I think if I stay focused and keep working like I have, I can be a little bit more consistent than I have been.'' Consistency has been Dawkins' problem this season. This was his eighth showing in double figures this season, two points shy of his year's best of 26 in a win over Michigan State in November. But he totaled 14 points in four straight games leading into ACC play. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Dawkins is growing into a key player for the Blue Devils. ''The last two games, Andre's been terrific. He built on that coming into this one,'' said Krzyzewski, who won his 915th game. Mason Plumlee scored 12 points and Cook had 10 for the Blue Devils. Miles Plumlee had a game-high 14 rebounds. Clemson drew a large crowd to Littlejohn Coliseum, partly because of last week's 20-point win over Florida State in the ACC opener and partly because of the football team's visiting recruits. Duke gutted out a 61-58 win over No. 16 Virginia on Thursday night and was prepared for a similar struggle. The Blue Devils came in having won 10 of their past 11 games at Littlejohn Coliseum. Krzyzewski was so upset after Tanner Smith's unchallenged drive to the hoop, he called timeout less than two minutes in and replaced his five starters. Clemson's lead eventually reached 16-7 on Devin Coleman's foul shot with 11:46 to go in the half. That's when Duke began to find its offense. Ryan Kelly scored five points in a two minute span to draw the Blue Devils to 18-14. Mason Plumlee's three-point play with 5:29 left gave Duke its first lead of the game, 21-20. Seth Curry followed with a high-arcing 3-pointer over Clemson's 7-foot-2 center Catalin Baciu. Dawkins closed the half with eight straight points and Duke took a 32-28 lead into the break. The Tigers lost a second straight ACC game after opening league play with a 79-59 win over Florida State last week.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
One Gotta Go: Young Thug gets no love from the Pac-12
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Helfrich, Kelly spoke about possibility of Kelly returning to Oregon

Paul Maurice: Game plans won’t work trying to stop McDavid

Report: Nats considering Ian Desmond reunion

Eric Dickerson: Rams would be better off without Jeff Fisher

Sheriff: Joe McKnight shooting suspect fired from inside car

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Revis insists he has 'a lot' of football left, still loves game

Report: Siemian misses practice Friday, Lynch likely to start

Report: Five teams chasing Chris Sale, asking price high

Von Miller gifts every AFC West player custom bottle of wine

Bucs C Joe Hawley claims Seahawks player spit in his face

Report: A.J. Green jogging, no timeline for return from injury

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Box Score 12/2: High-kicking it into the weekend

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Eugene Monroe opens up about NFL’s drug policy

Ideal MLB offseason blueprint for every team

Eight NFL teams facing must-win games in Week 13

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Porzingis reshapes Knicks by elevating his game

TailGreater: Your championship week playlist is set

Clarification: Why the rules near the crease need to be fixed

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker