Quinn Cook wasn’t interested in a repeat performance.
The sophomore point guard scored 27 points on 12-16 shooting, including 3-5 3-point shooting, and the #1 Duke Blue Devils (15-0, 2-0) cruised to an easy 68-40 victory over Clemson (8-6, 0-2).
It was an impressive bounce-back effort for Cook, who posted an 0-11 mark against Wake Forest on Saturday. The most impressive part of the performance, however, was the diversity of shots he utilized all throughout the game. Cook slashed his way to the basket, nailed short jumpers, and clanked in a few three-pointers in his domination of the Clemson defense.
The game didn’t start out pretty, with both teams failing to make a single field goal until the 14:32 mark when Quinn Cook broke free for an easy layup. Cook’s layup would wake up the Blue Devils, who immediately raced out to a 16-6 lead behind Ryan Kelly and a strong defensive effort. By the time halftime rolled around, however, the score would resemble that of a football score, with the Blue Devils leading Clemson 25-10.
The second half would see much improved offense from both sides, but the results would be the same. The Blue Devils, led by Cook, took advantage of every little mistake Clemson made and the Tigers were unable to keep up with the suddenly red-hot Duke team, as they failed to come within anything closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
The contest wasn’t all good news for the Blue Devils, however. Senior Forward Ryan Kelly, an unheralded hero for the team, was held out of the second half with a foot injury, the details of which are unknown. Meanwhile, National Player of the Year candidate Mason Plumlee turned in another disappointing performance, going 3-9 from the field, 2-4 from the free-throw line, and once again looking entirely ineffective and lost on the offensive end. The senior did collect 13 rebounds, leading a dominating effort by the Blue Devils on the glass.
The Blue Devils next contest will see them traveling to face #20 NC State (12-2, 1-0) on January 12th in their first true road game of the year. The Clemson Tigers will return home to face Virginia, still in search of their first ACC victory.