Progress for Wake after 91-73 loss to No. 4 Duke?

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 19, 2012
Wake Forest lost another game to an instate rival by double digits. At least this one wasn't quite as tough to take. Andre Dawkins had 21 points on seven first-half 3-pointers and No. 4 Duke beat the Demon Deacons 91-73 on Thursday night for their 13th straight loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium. But this has to count as progress for a Wake Forest team that six days earlier was embarrassed on its home court in a 36-point loss to a middle-of-the-pack North Carolina State team. ''I liked a lot of things (against Duke). We competed, we battled, we fought. We had some good shot opportunities ourselves. We didn't make them,'' Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik said. ''Duke has a lot of firepower, and they were able to display that and use that tonight. When Dawkins wasn't making shots, other guys were making tough shots, too.'' C.J. Harris scored 20 points for Wake Forest (10-8, 1-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), which had no answer in the first half for Dawkins and had trouble stopping Austin Rivers and Seth Curry the rest of the way. Travis McKie finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, Tony Chennault added 13 points and Nikita Mescheriakov had 12 points for the Demon Deacons, who trailed for all but roughly 2 minutes of this one. They went on to their third straight loss and fourth in five games. ''Of course, no loss is a good one, so of course we're not feeling good, but we just have to have confidence going into Boston College and go out there and get a win. I believe we competed,'' center Ty Walker said. ''I believe we made some mistakes that were detrimental toward the results of the game, but overall, I think we played pretty hard.'' Dawkins helped the Blue Devils (16-2, 4-0) build a huge lead that was never seriously threatened in their 45th straight victory at Cameron. They moved within one victory of the school record for consecutive home victories and will match the mark if they beat Florida State on Saturday. ''I feel like every shot I put up is going to go in,'' Dawkins said. ''The shots just kept falling.'' Ryan Kelly finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds for Duke, which shot 54 percent in claiming its fourth straight win in the series. Rivers scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half and Curry finished with 14 for Duke, which claimed its 64th straight win at home against unranked opponents while remaining the ACC's only unbeaten team in conference play. ''With all of the weapons we have on the perimeter, it's kind of, pick your poison,'' Dawkins said. Dawkins was 7 of 13 from the field with his baskets coming early and in bunches before taking only one shot after halftime, missing a 3. Kelly, who came off the bench after starting 13 of the previous 14 games, finished 8 of 11 while coming up short of his second consecutive perfect shooting performance against Wake Forest. He hit all six of his shots in last season's 24-point rout in Winston-Salem. ''I don't think it has anything to do with who I'm playing against,'' Kelly said. ''I just came in tonight with confidence and was aggressive. When you get pulled out of the starting lineup, it's kind of hard on you, no matter what, and you've got to show you're willing to do whatever it takes for the team. I think I did that.'' Curry helped Duke pull away early in the second half by repeatedly finding lanes to the basket and turning them into easy layups. Rivers gave the Blue Devils their first 20-point lead with a free throw that made it 55-35 with 16:27 left. Wake Forest - which hasn't won in Durham since 1997 - didn't get closer than 14 points the rest of the way. ''We went out there (and) we competed,'' Harris said. ''That's something we can be proud of, but we're still upset that we lost.''
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