2nd-half slump dooms Davidson against Duke, 82-69
It was just like old times for Davidson. Stephen Curry was in the house, the 3-pointers were falling and another upset seemed to be brewing.
When the Wildcats eventually went cold, Curry could only watch helplessly from the stands.
Davidson gave No. 6 Duke - and Stephen's younger brother, Seth - fits for a little over a half Friday night before the Blue Devils used a huge run to beat the Wildcats 82-69 on Friday night after they went 7 minutes between field goals.
''That was an experience this team has never had: This roster has never played in Cameron (Indoor Stadium) and we could not simulate it,'' Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. ''We could not simulate the intensity, the noise level, the proximity of the sidelines, and we paid a price for that.''
Mason Plumlee finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds, and teamed with older brother Miles to score 10 straight points during Duke's decisive run.
Chris Czerapowicz had 15 points to lead Davidson (2-1), which hit five 3s during the first half, led for virtually all of the first 20 minutes and went up 41-39 on J.P. Kuhlman's layup with 17 minutes left.
Mason Plumlee reeled off six straight points after that, including a follow-up dunk that put Duke ahead to stay. Miles Plumlee had eight points during the run, including an authoritative up-and-under dunk, before Mason Plumlee finished the burst by taking an alley-oop feed from Curry and slamming it to make it 64-45 with 10 1/2 minutes left.
Austin Rivers and Seth Curry both finished with 17 points for Duke (4-0), which was playing for the first time since Mike Krzyzewski became the winningest men's coach in Division I history.
The Blue Devils delivered Coach K's 904th career victory by holding Davidson without a field goal for 7 minutes during their game-breaking, Plumlee-led 25-4 run.
''Really, our offense led to bad defense,'' Kuhlman said. ''We took some bad shots, and they got a couple blocked shots and that led to some easy baskets, and that really got them going.''
Davidson missed 10 straight shots before Czerapowicz hit a jumper with 10 minutes to play. The Wildcats didn't get closer than 11 the rest of the way.
''We missed a lot of layups,'' McKillop said. ''Give the Plumlees tremendous credit for that, because Ryan Kelly, Mason and Miles just locked up that rim, and shots that we would make, we did not make.''
Miles Plumlee finished with 10 points for the Blue Devils, who shot 54 percent and sidestepped a potential trap that lurked between their Hall of Fame coach's record-breaking victory three nights earlier and their trip to Hawaii. The Cameron Crazies chanted ''903'' as Krzyzewski entered the arena before the game.
But, eventually, the Blue Devils figured out a way to extend a few streaks during their last day on the mainland for a while. They won their NCAA-best 39th in a row at Cameron Indoor Stadium, their 89th straight nonconference game at home and their 48th consecutive game against the Southern Conference.
Duke was scheduled to depart for the Maui Invitational on Saturday morning.
''We didn't want to come into the game and have a lull after playing a big game in New York,'' Seth Curry said. ''We knew Davidson was going to be a good team. They came in and ran their offense well. and just played harder than us in the first half. In the second half, we just came out and kind of did what we wanted to do, imposed our will, got it inside and were able to get a lead.''
This instate matchup created an interesting dynamic - if not a divided Curry household.
Stephen Curry became the biggest star in Davidson history by leading the Wildcats' unforgettable tournament run before beginning his NBA career. With that league mired in a lockout, Curry has become a fixture at Cameron, usually sitting behind the Duke bench beside father Dell - a former NBA sharpshooter himself - and cheering for his younger brother.
For this one, Stephen Curry sat behind the Wildcats' bench - their parents were seated behind Duke's bench - but tweeted before the game that he also was pulling for Seth. His wardrobe reflected his split loyalties - he wore a half-Davidson, half-Duke jersey that celebrated his old school on the front and his brother's team on the back.
''The magnificence of Stephen Curry is, he can root like heck for his brother, yet sit behind our bench and root like heck for us and wear Davidson gear,'' McKillop said. ''Because his heart is that big, that he has that much room and that much love in it that he can share that.''
De'Mon Brooks and Jake Cohen each scored 12 points while Kuhlman added 10 for Davidson, which built three six-point leads and went up 36-35 at halftime on Tom Droney's free throws with 0.8 seconds left.