WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Dropping from No. 1 didn't sit well with Duke captains Mike Dunleavy and Jason Williams.
So they did something about it Thursday night.
Dunleavy scored a career-high 30 points, and Williams added 26 as the No. 3 Blue Devils got back in sync following their second loss of the season by rolling over No. 20 Wake Forest 90-61.
The Blue Devils (24-2, 12-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) shot 63 percent to remain on the heels of league-leading Maryland, who beat Duke by 14 points Sunday to snap its 11-game winning streak.
"I love being on top of the mountain, but I feel like we're human and we're going to mess up, we're going to make mistakes," Williams said. "We have to realize that.
"When we get knocked off sometimes people are kicking us while we're down, saying Duke is not the team we thought they were. But we realize we're still getting better and you could see tonight we're still taking steps and becoming the team we know we can be."
Dunleavy was 11-for-15 from the field with nine rebounds. His previous best was 27 points earlier this season at North Carolina State.
"We went back and looked at the Maryland game and we were almost embarrassed at the way we played," Dunleavy said. "We didn't play like we had played all year. People had a right to say stuff about us, but we wanted to use this game to get back on track and get back to the old ways of Duke."
Duke was a miserable 7-for-33 from 3-point range against No. 2 Maryland, but shot 12-for-23 beyond the arc this time as Dunleavy and Williams combined to go 10-of-17.
Wake Forest (18-9, 8-5) remained in third place in the ACC, but only a half-game ahead of N.C. State. Those teams meet at Joel Coliseum next Saturday.
"It wasn't all us, they are a great basketball team with great players," Wake Forest senior Broderick Hicks said. "You can feel the chemistry they've got out there on the court."
The Demon Deacons came in ranked No. 8 in the nation in scoring, but shot just 33 percent and turned the ball over a season-high 21 times. Wake Forest's previous high in an ACC game this season was 17.
"I'm disappointed for our students and the crowd," Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser said. "They wanted to really help us, but we gave them no reason to do that."
It was clear from the start that the Blue Devils, who dropped two spots in The Associated Press poll after being ranked No. 1 in 13 of 15 weeks, had put the loss to the Terrapins behind them.
The Blue Devils shot 55 percent in the opening 20 minutes while getting to nearly every loose ball in beating Wake Forest for the 12th straight time. That's Duke's best streak in the 219-game series since 1941-48.
While Duke's hustle was impressive, its defense was even more dazzling, at one point holding the Demon Deacons without a field goal for 10 1/2 minutes to go up 48-29 at the break.
Wake Forest got Duke in foul trouble in the first half, but had its worst 20 minutes of the season on the offensive end. The Demon Deacons were 7-for-23 from the field with 15 turnovers.
© 2018. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us