DURHAM, N.C. — Andre Dawkins scored all 21 of his points in the first half, and No. 4 Duke beat Wake Forest 91-73 on Thursday night for its 45th consecutive victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Dawkins hit seven 3-pointers to help the Blue Devils (16-2, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) build a huge lead that was never seriously threatened. Ryan Kelly added 20 points and 10 rebounds for Duke, which shot 54 percent in claiming its fourth win in a row in the series.
The Blue Devils moved within one victory of the school record for consecutive home victories and will match the mark of 46 if they beat Florida State on Saturday.
C.J. Harris had 20 points for Wake Forest (10-8, 1-3), which was coming off a 36-point home loss to North Carolina State and lost its third consecutive and fourth in five games.
Austin Rivers scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half and Seth Curry finished with 14 for Duke, which beat Wake Forest at Cameron for the 13th time in a row and claimed its 64th consecutive win at home against unranked opponents while remaining the ACC’s only unbeaten team in conference play.
And Dawkins and Kelly certainly did plenty early on to help them keep that designation.
Dawkins was 7 of 13 from the field with his baskets coming early and in bunches before taking only one shot after halftime. Kelly was 8 of 11 while coming up short of his second consecutive perfect shooting performance against Wake Forest. He hit all six of his shots in last year’s 24-point rout in Winston-Salem.
Curry then helped Duke pull away early in the second half by repeatedly finding lanes to the basket and turning them into easy layups. Rivers gave the Blue Devils their first 20-point lead with a free throw that made it 55-35 with 16:27 left.
Wake Forest — which hasn’t won in Durham since 1997 – -didn’t get closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
Travis McKie finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, Tony Chennault added 13 points and Nikita Mescheriakov had 12 points for the Demon Deacons, who trailed for all but roughly two minutes of this one.
|TOP 25 SCORES|
|No. 4 Duke 91, Wake Forest 73|
|No. 8 North Carolina 82, Virginia Tech 68|
|No. 15 Virginia 70, Georgia Tech 38|
|Penn State 54, No. 22 Illinois 52|
Dawkins’ big game came after coach Mike Krzyzewski inserted him into the starting lineup for the first time since the Ohio State loss two months ago, and brought Rivers – the ACC’s only freshman averaging in double figures — off the bench for the first time in his college career.
After Kelly gave the Blue Devils an early lift, scoring 10 of their first 25 points and needing just 11 1/2 minutes to reach double figures, it was Dawkins’ turn to take over.
With guard Tyler Thornton continually feeding him the ball, Dawkins hit six 3s in a span of 6 1/2 minutes. He twice pushed Duke’s lead to 16 by hitting from long range. The first came when he drilled two 3s in a 40-second span to make it 37-21 — and after the second one, the Cameron Crazies chanted: “’Dre all day.”