Duke was able to finally pull away from Davidson (82-69) after being down by 1 at halftime. Davidson at least for the first half gave Duke all it could handle. Seth Curry and Austin Rivers kept the Devils on par with Davidson, Rivers off of drives to the basket and Curry off of mid-range jumpers. Davidson was able to run offense easily against Duke scoring from all over, breaking down the Devils interior defense off of the drive and using the drive to open up 3 point barrages. Davidson was able to hit 5 3’s against Dukes defense in the first half to only 2 in the second. While Duke in the first half only managed 1 3 point make.
Duke looked to be in danger as the second half began, trading baskets with the Wildcats but at the 17:33 mark of the second half Mason Plumlee put in work. Duke made a concerted effort to get Mason Plumlee the ball and between he and Miles they rattled off 13 straight Plumlee points between them to put Duke up 8 points, the Devils never looked back from there.
If Duke can find away to keep Mason Plumlee involved in the offense, at very least some touches, good things will happen. Mason has shown that he can disappear in games and Duke when Mason is excited and engaged is a much better team. His enthusiasm seemed to rub off on Miles Plumlee and led to some fast break opportunities and open shots for other Dukies.
Mason finished the game with 16 points off of 7-10 shooting, he also pulled down 13 rebounds and had 2 assists. Miles feeding off of Masons play had 10 points all but 4 coming from the free throw line. Perhaps it was Ryan Kelly getting the start over Miles but he showed up tonight, and Duke will need the elder Plumlee to believe in his game the way Mason believes in his.
Seth Curry and Austin Rivers both scored 17 points to pace the Devils both shooting with efficiency, Curry going 6-11 and Rivers 8 of 13.
If there was one thing that the Devils will HAVE to improve on its free throw shooting. Mason Plumlee will need to improve on his 2 of 6 performance or he will find teams using that sort of low percentage against him. Duke as a team shot 63% from the free throw line but that was after only shooting 50% in the first half. Shooting 19 of 30 overall from the line is leaving 11 points on the floor.