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January 19, 2012

Dawkins buries Wake early

Durham, NC - Andre Dawkins' 21-first-half points (all from 3-PT) were devastating to Wake Forest (10-8, 1-3 ACC), as No. 4 Duke (16-2, 4-0 ACC) rolled to an easy 91-73 win.

Dawkins did not score in the second half, which proved to be inconsequential as Ryan Kelly and Austin Rivers combined for 24 points following the intermission to finish with 20 apiece for the game.

"Duke has a lot of firepower, and they really do a great job of spacing the court, because of their ability to shoot not from one player or two players, but several players," Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "We let Dawkins out of our sight, and lost him several times in the first half. He was able to give Duke some good separation."

After Seth Curry missed a three-pointer to start the second half the Blue Devils scored on 17 of their next 23 possessions to build their largest lead of 81-55 with 6:48 left to play. In that stretch the Devils outscored the Deacs 36-23, with Curry overcoming three first-half fouls to score eight points in Duke's second-half surge.

"I think Seth's really a good player," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "He had a frustrating first half. I thought he was outstanding in the second half. They were focused so much on Andre, so it opened things up. When your guys are playing well, it's tough to concentrate on one guy."

Wake finally had more than one player produce offensively, as C.J. Harris (20 points), Travis McKie (16 points), Tony Chennault (13 points) and Nikita Mescheriakov (12 points) all scored in double figures.

"He [Harris] was just very efficient," Bzdelik said. "He was 6-for-8 from the floor and getting to the free-throw line. He shot the ball extremely well. He competed out there. He displayed good leadership to our younger players."

The Deacs did take it on the chin, but fought back to trim their 26-point deficit down to 18.

"I am pleased with the whole team and how they turned it around from Saturday in terms of their competiveness and the way they stuck together," Bzdelik said. "We competed. We battled. We fought."

Effort was not enough, as Duke dominated Wake Forest in nearly every stat category. The Devils had nine more second-chance points. Duke's bench outscored Wake's 43-8, as Krzyzewski subbed liberally throughout the game. Duke had nine players reach double-digit minutes to the Deacs seven.

And the kicker, Duke made 11-23 three-point shots, with the majority coming from Dawkins. Wake Forest shot an anemic 3-16 from behind the arc.


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