Hose make strides in 96-55 loss to No. 6 Duke
Presbyterian coach Gregg Nibert didn't seem to mind being the other team in Mike Krzyzewski's latest milestone victory.
The Blue Hose are finishing their five-year transition to Division I this season. Beating mighty Duke may have been too much to ask.
The sixth-ranked Blue Devils routed Presbyterian 96-55 on Saturday for Krzyzewski's 902nd career win, tying him with Bob Knight for the most among Division I men's coaches.
Still, Nibert enjoyed the experience about as much as any coach can when his team loses by 41.
''I told my wife (that) I'm pinching myself to think that Presbyterian, how far we've come in the 23 years I've been here, just to be able to do this,'' Nibert said.
Al'Lonzo Coleman had 11 points for Presbyterian (1-1), which never led. Pierre Miller scored 10 points, and his 3 pulled the Blue Hose to 19-17 before they went 8 1/2 minutes without a field goal and Duke broke the game open with a 29-6 run.
''That was a clinic out there offensively,'' Nibert said. ''We know how great their guards are, and we tried to go in there and hope that the big guys beat us. They not only beat us, they did a tremendous job.''
Ryan Kelly scored 17 points for the Blue Devils (2-0), who shot 61 percent and used a huge first-half run to deliver another landmark victory to their Hall of Fame coach. Coach K improved to 902-284 during his 37th season as a college coach at Army and Duke. He can pass Knight - his coach and mentor - on Tuesday night against Michigan State at Madison Square Garden.
''Whenever an individual coaching honor occurs, it's because of your players and your assistants and the infrastructure you build,'' Krzyzewski said. ''You're just the recipient of a lot of good things, then, because you're the head of it. Good players and unselfish kids win a lot of ballgames.''
Krzyzewski continued his steady climb up the wins list by matching Knight - for whom he ran the point at Army in the 1960s. The Cameron Crazies chanted ''902'' as the final seconds ticked away, then chanted his name after the horn.
The public address announcer notified the 9,314 in attendance that the win moved Krzyzewski into a tie with Knight, and Coach K briefly huddled with the Blue Devils on the court, then whisked into the locker room as the song ''Celebration'' blared from the speakers.
''We want to win for Coach, but we want to win every game,'' Kelly said. ''That's how we approach it, and that's how Coach approaches it. He's just worried about the game at hand. Numbers are a nice thing, but we need to worry about our team right now.''
Freshman Austin Rivers scored 15 points, Miles Plumlee had 13 points and 11 rebounds and younger brother Mason Plumlee added 13 points for Duke, which improved on a couple of streaks at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils won their NCAA-best 38th straight home game and their 88th in a row against nonconference opponents at home.
''It was like going into a knife fight with a toothpick,'' Nibert said.
Freshman Quinn Cook and Seth Curry finished with 10 points apiece for Duke.