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Notes: Duke 75, Kentucky 68
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 11/14/2012
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Duke 75, Kentucky 68

Team Notes:

•    Duke defeated a top-three opponent for the first time since Feb. 6, 2008 (W, 89-78 vs. No. 3 North Carolina) and its first top-three non-conference opponent since Dec. 10, 2005 (W, 97-66 vs. No. 2 Texas).
•    Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski improved to 5-1 against Kentucky as Duke’s head coach. Four of those matchups have featured both teams ranked in the AP top 10, while all five have featured Duke as a top-10 team.
•    Duke has now won seven of the last eight meetings between the two schools. Seven of the last nine games have been decided by 10 points or less.
•    Since the 2009-10 season, the Blue Devils are 7-3 against top-10 teams.
•    The game was played in front of 22,847 fans which is the largest crowd Duke has ever played in front of for a regular season game.
•    The Blue Devils improved to 9-1 all-time at the Georgia Dome.   
•    Seth Curry scored eight straight points over the final 7:55 of the game to stave off a late Kentucky rally and keep Duke ahead by no less than three points. With Duke holding on to a 64-61 lead, Curry hit his next four free throw attempts and a driving layup to keep Duke ahead by no less than three points the rest of the way.
•    Duke’s senior trio of captains Seth Curry, Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly combined to score Duke’s first 28 points of the game and 51 points overall. No Blue Devil underclassman scored until the 3:55 mark in the first half when Josh Hairston hit a free throw.
•    Curry, Kelly and Plumlee combined to score over 40 points for the second straight game. The senior trio is averaging 46.5 points per game through Duke’s first two contests.
•    In a game that featured four ties and two lead changes, Duke opened the first double-digit lead of the game, 52-42, with 12 minutes remaining in the second half. The 10-point lead came on freshman Rasheed Sulaimon’s second three-pointer of the night on an assist from Tyler Thornton.
•    Duke’s leading scorer and rebounder Mason Plumlee went to the bench after committing his fourth foul with 16:05 remaining, but the Blue Devils stepped up his absence by outscoring Kentucky 11-5 over the next 4:36 to increase the lead to 54-42. Josh Hairston, who subbed in for Plumlee during that span, contributed four points offensive putback layups.
•    For the second straight game, Duke used a starting lineup of Tyler Thornton, Mason Plumlee, Rasheed Sulaimon, Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly.
•    Trailing 19-14 with 9:28 remaining in the first half, Duke strung together a 14-4 run over the next 3:57 to stake a 28-23 lead. Duke scored on back-to-back three-point plays – a Kelly three-pointer and a Plumlee layup and free throw –,to end the run.

Player Notes:

Quinn Cook

•    The first player off of Duke’s bench for the second straight game. Cook played a career-high 30 minutes in the win.

Seth Curry
•    Started his 13th consecutive game. Curry has started 47 of Duke’s last 49 games.
•    Scored a game-high 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field, 3-of-7 from the three-point line and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line. The 23 points marked the second-highest scoring output of Curry’s career at Duke and his most points in a game since scoring a career-high 26 against NC State on Feb. 16, 2012.
•    Knocked down three of his first four three-pointers in the first half, including back-to-back treys within a span of less than two minutes to close the early deficit to 15-14 and 17-19.
•    Scored in double figures for the 39th time in his Duke career. It was Curry’s eighth 20-point game as a Blue Devil and pushed him over 800 career points (820).
•    Hit a three-pointer in his 16th consecutive game, the longest active streak of any Duke player.

Josh Hairston
•    Subbed in for senior Mason Plumlee in the second half after Plumlee committed his fourth foul. Hairston contributed two offensive putback layups during an 11-5 Duke run in Plumlee’s absence.

Ryan Kelly
•    Started his second straight game and played 34 minutes, tying senior classmate Seth curry for the most of any Blue Devils.
•    Registered three blocks, all in the first half. Also registered three steals, matching a career high that he has met three other times.
•    Scored in double figures for the first time this season and the 28th time in his career.

Mason Plumlee
•    Made his 66th start at Duke. Plumlee has started 53 of Duke’s last 56 games.
•    Scored 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting, marking his eighth straight game shooting 50.0 percent or better from the field.
•    Posted the fourth-highest scoring total of his career. It marked the third straight game – including the 2011-12 season finale – in which Plumlee scored at least 18 points.
•    Scored 11 points in the first 13 minutes of the game and finished with 14 points in the first half. Included in that outburst were his first two three-point plays of the season.
•    Logged his fourth foul with 16:03 remaining in the game, but played foul-free until committing his fifth foul with 34 seconds left on the clock.

Rasheed Sulaimon
•    Endured a cold shooting stretch in the first half, finishing 0-of-7 in the first frame, but made up for it by contributing five assists, five rebounds and zero turnovers in 18 minutes during that span. His first five assists led to 12 points.
•    Despite Sulaimon’s cold shooting in the first half, he played a team-high 18 minutes in the opening frame.
•    After the 0-for-7 performance in the first half, Sulaimon hit 3-of-7 shots in the second half – all three-pointers.

Tyler Thornton
•    Started his 15th consecutive game, the longest active streak on the team. Thornton started Duke’s final 13 games of the 2011-12 season.