Nov. 22, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -Mason Plumlee scored a career-high 25 points had 12 rebounds and six blocks to lead No. 1 Duke to an 82-77 victory over Marquette in the semifinals of the CBE Classic on Monday night.

The 6-foot-10 junior dominated inside in a game where the Blue Devils (4-0) took a big early lead then saw Marquette tie it three times before Duke went on a 9-0 run that gave it the cushion it needed down the stretch on the way to the reigning national champion's 14th consecutive win.

Duke will face the winner of the other semifinal between No. 4 Kansas State and No. 22 Gonzaga in the championship game Tuesday night at the Sprint Center.

The Blue Devils took a 23-9 lead with 11:15 to play in the first half. Duke was still ahead 40-31 at halftime but the Golden Eagles (4-1) were able to tie the game three times but never took the lead.

The last tie was 57-all on a baseline jumper by Jae Crowder with 10:28 to play. The Blue Devils scored the next nine points - four by Plumlee - and the Golden Eagles didn't have another run in them.

Nolan Smith had 18 points for Duke and Kyle Singler added 14 while freshman Kyrie Irving had 11 points and seven assists.

Jimmy Butler led Marquette, which was 4 of 20 on 3-pointers, with 22 points and Crowder added 15.

This is the seventh straight season Duke has started 4-0 and it is the 21st time it has had that record in Mike Krzyzewski's 32 seasons. This was Krzyzewski's 799th win at Duke and his 872nd overall, four behind Adolph Rupp on the all-time list.

The win extended Duke's November winning streak 26 games with the last loss being to Marquette in the finals of 2006 CBE Classic.

The Golden Eagles dropped to 1-7 all-time versus No. 1 teams and 2-6 against Duke.

Although Duke built its early lead on 3-pointers in consecutive trips on Irving, Singler and Seth Curry, Plumlee was the one who made things tough inside on both ends of the court for Marquette.

His fastbreak dunk and move down low capped the 9-0 run that gave the Blue Devils a 66-57 lead with 8:46 to go.

The final score was as close as Marquette would get and that came about with a sloppy final minute by both teams.