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No. 5 Duke 75, Wake Forest 70

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Blue Devils escape Deacons

Big games from Mason Plumlee, Curry spark Duke

WINSTON-SALEM For the second Wednesday in a row, Duke ran into an opponent shooting lights out at its home gym.

This time, though, the fifth-ranked Blue Devils were able to answer, thanks in large part to Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry, and pulled out the 75-70 win against Wake Forest.

A week earlier, then-No. 1 Duke ran into a rout and fell 90-63 at Miami, which was ranked No. 25 at the time.

Plumlee finished 12-for-15 from the floor and eight of 10 from the free-throw line for a career-high 32 points. Curry added 21, including a 3-pointer to break a 66-66 tie late. The second half featured three ties, with the last come coming with less than four minutes remaining.

After the teams played to a halftime deadlock at 40, Duke (18-2, 5-2 ACC) opened the second on an 8-0 run, with all the points coming from Plumlee and Curry. The Deacons (10-10, 3-5) didn’t roll over as they closed the gap to two points twice, first 54-52 before Plumlee’s drive and free throws and then again at 56-54 before Josh Hairston tipped in a Tyler Thornton miss.

Then the Deacons were able to take the lead.

With 8 minutes, 41 seconds left, Duke’s Rasheed Sulaimon missed the front end of a one-and-one and Thornton committed a loose ball foul. Arnaud Adala Moto made both free throws to tie the score at 58. Plumlee was called for a double dribble as he was triple teamed in the post, and C.J. Harris hit a jump shot to put the Deacons ahead 60-58.

Curry brought the lead back for Duke as he made three free throws on the next possession. The Deacons came away empty on their next two trips down the floor, as Devin Thomas was called for his fourth foul and then Amile Jefferson stole a pass that ended with Quinn Cook laying it in on the other end to extend Duke’s lead to 63-60.

After Adala Moto hit one of two free throws, Curry missed two 3 attempts. Adala Moto tied the score again at 63 on the next possession as he made both shots from the line.

Cook answered immediately with a tough layup to give Duke back the lead at 65-63 with about four minutes remaining.

Plumlee picked up his fourth foul after biting on a Tyler Cavanaugh shot fake. Cavanaugh made the free throw for the three-point play, putting Wake Forest ahead 66-65.

Plumlee hit one of two free throws after the media timeout to tie the score again. And on Duke’s next offensive possession, Curry sank a 3-pointer to make it 69-66 Duke with fewer than three minutes remaining on the clock.

Madison Jones drove past Plumlee, playing with four fouls, to bring Wake Forest back within one. Thomas fell guarding Plumlee on the opposite end, and Duke’s big man calmly finished to put the Blue Devils in front 71-68 with 1:14 on the clock.

Adala Moto missed an open 3 attempt with a minute to go and Sulimon hit a jumper with 27.6 left on the clock to put Duke ahead 73-68. Wake Forest couldn’t foul until just 15.8 remained on the clock.

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