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(Thursday, December 20th)
Final Score: (1) Duke 76, Elon 54
Durham, NC (Sports Network) - Mason Plumlee deposited a game-high 21 points with 15 rebounds as the top-ranked Duke Blue Devils downed Elon, 76-54, at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Ryan Kelly totaled 14 points, Rasheed Sulaimon added 13 and Quinn Cook posted 10 points and eight boards for the Blue Devils (11-0), who opened the season with 11 straight wins for the second time in the last three years.
"It is ironic, yesterday I think we were talking about point guard defensive rebounding and Quinn ends up being our second leading rebounder today with seven defensive rebounds," noted Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "Overall, it was a good game for us because you are fighting human nature and the other team, and we won in both cases. The season is not going to be a perfect one, and I am proud that we kept playing defense and you have to just muck things up for a while."
Sebastian Koch clocked in with 14 points and nine rebounds for the Phoenix (6-5), who have lost three of four. Lucas Troutman had 13 points and Jack Isenbarger tallied 12 in the setback.
Ryley Beaumont's 3-pointer pulled Elon within 43-35 early in the second half, but the hosts seized control for good thanks to a 13-2 run thereafter.
Tyler Thornton connected on back-to-back triples which put Duke up by 14, Sulaimon later drained a trey, and Plumlee capped the surge at 56-37 with 9:36 to play.
The Blue Devils kept the pressure on, moving ahead by 20 for the first time on a Thornton jumper to make it 63-43 with 6 1/2 minutes left and the Phoenix were never able to shrink their deficit below double digits for the duration.
"We were faced with a daunting task, which is exactly what we wanted when we were fortunate to schedule the game," said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. "We had a couple of lapses in the second half which is particularly seen in the way we gave up offensive rebounds. That allowed the spread to get away from us. We did compete, we hoped for a better result and Duke is very good."
Elon led 11-9 early on, then went down by five after a Duke spurt ending on a Plumlee slam for a 20-15 score, only to take a 21-20 lead on a Koch trey with 7:22 left in the half.
Sulaimon answered in kind for the Blue Devils, a Kelly triple pushed Duke ahead 28-25 and the hosts led 35-27 at the break thanks to a long-distance make from Cook.
Duke has won 18 of the 25 all-time meetings ... Beaumont committed a game-high six of Elon's 17 turnovers ... The Blue Devils made 11-of-19 from beyond the arc, but shot only 43.3 percent overall in the victory ... The nation's top ranked program plays Santa Clara and Davidson before opening up ACC action on Jan.5 by hosting Wake Forest.
12/20 22:37:20 ET
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