No. 11 Blue Devils whip Wake Forest
Duke got a pair of wins on Tuesday night.
The 11th-ranked Blue Devils beat Wake Forest 83-63 in front of 9,314 in Cameron Indoor Stadium, and also overcame a potential emotional hangover from an overtime loss at now-No. 1 Syracuse three nights earlier.
Duke increased usage of sophomore Rasheed Sulaimon at point guard and got a spark defensively from senior Tyler Thornton. The Demon Deacons were without leading scorer Codi Miller-McIntyre, who twisted an ankle in a home loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday.
Head coach Jeff Bzdelik’s Deacons were also without an answer to a more talent team finding its groove.
“We beat the emotional hangover of being in two amazing games last week, especially the game last weekend on a controversial play at the end,” said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “We’re a tired basketball team.”
And one with road dates ahead at Boston College and North Carolina to finish a four-out-of-five stretch away from Cameron, where it has a 29-game winning streak.
Freshman Jabari Parker scored 21 points and pulled eight rebounds, Sulaimon finished with 19 points and five assists and Andre Dawkins scored 17 points hitting 4-of-7 from 3-point range.
Duke (18-5, 7-3 ACC) shot 50.9 percent from the floor, forced 19 turnovers and survived 28 of the game’s 51 fouls.
Wake Forest (14-9, 4-6 ACC), losing at Duke by double figures for the 15th consecutive time, was led by Arnaud Adala Moto with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Devin Thomas scored 10 of his 14 points in the first half and Miles Overton came off the bench for 12 points.
“Tyler made some steals and deflections and got everybody going,” Dawkins said of a first half spark that included 12 straight points and 18 of 19. “We played great defense for 30 minutes. The first eight to 10 minutes were not great. Tyler really picked us up. He got into his guy, and it spread to the rest of us.”
Sulaimon, whose play sunk to being benched for an entire game earlier this season, continued his rise in contribution.
“The reason we’re playing well is everybody is figuring out their roles,” Sulaimon said. “One of mine is to pressure the ball.”
As for the early season struggles, Sulaimon said it goes with the highs and lows of a season.
“It’s time to go,” Sulaimon said. “It’s close to March.”
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