Duke is on a roll. And it doesn’t look like they’ll be stopping anytime soon.
Seth Curry scored a career-high 31 points in a 90-77 victory over Santa Clara (11-3), marking the Blue Devils’ (12-0) 101st straight non-conference home win and 12th straight victory on the season. Curry was on fire from the floor as he shot 12-for-18 from the field and 4-for-7 from three-point land. He did a terrific job of scoring on all three levels and did a good job of getting to the basket and finishing in the paint.
National Player of the Year front-runner Mason Plumlee had another monster performance for Duke as he recorded his eighth double-double of the season and fifth in the past six games. He posted 22 points, including a 10-for-15 mark from the charity stripe, 13 rebounds and five assists in a game where he did everything for the Blue Devils. Although he struggled from the line early, he picked it up and also got several easy buckets from running the court in transition. Plumlee is one of the best big men in the country in both running the floor and finishing above the rim which gives him multiple easy buckets a game.
Ryan Kelly also tallied a double-double, the fourth of his career, of 10 points and 11 rebounds. He only made three shots — and attempted just eight — but showed his versatility between being able to stretch out the defense and put the ball on the floor to score a bucket. However, he can be stronger in the paint on the offensive end and missed a couple of point-blank shots because he struggled to finish through contact.
Quinn Cook again showed his ability to impact the game in a plethora of ways with his 15-point, five-assist and five-rebound performance. He set Curry up multiple times for easy three-pointers and was able to penetrate to get to the bucket. He posted his fifth straight game in which he only turned the ball over two times or less — something you love to see out of your point guard — and has averaged six assists per contest in that same time period.
Duke’s fifth starter — freshman standout Rasheed Sulaimon — struggled shooting the ball and finishing around the bucket, finishing with a 2-for-8 mark from the floor and 2-for-5 mark from the free throw line. Only juniors Tyler Thornton and Josh Hairston recorded meaningful minutes outside of the starters, who combined for just six points on four shot attempts.
The Blue Devils struggled for much of the game against a Santa Clara squad that was led by Kevin Foster‘s 29-point performance. For about the first 25 minutes of the game, Duke was unable to stop Foster from getting clean looks from beyond the arc and couldn’t stop him off of the dribble but they tightened up their defense in the second half and rebounded better. The Blue Devils shot 7-for-14 from three-point land and out-rebounded Santa Clara, 36-26.
In Duke’s next match-up, they take on Davidson (6-5) Wednesday at 7pm on ESPN2. Despite their average record to start the season, Davidson has already defeated Vanderbilt (5-6) and West Virginia (6-5). The Blue Devils will look to continue both this year’s win streak and their non-conference home game win streak in their last game before conference play starts.