Cavaliers Fall at No. 1 Duke 79-54
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) –Gerald Henderson scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half to lead No. 1 Duke past Virginia 79-54 on Sunday.
Nolan Smith added 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting for the first-place Blue Devils (19-2, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).
They wrapped up what surely will be a one-week run as the nation’s top-ranked team with a dominating effort that helped them bounce back from a final-seconds loss to Wake Forest.
Jon Scheyer finished with 11 points for Duke – which never trailed, shot 46 percent and forced 23 turnovers – 17 in the first half. And for a while, at least, its tough defense frustrated star freshman Sylven Landesberg in his first visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Landesberg recovered from a rough start and scored 12 of his 20 points in the second half. After turning it over three times on his first six trips downcourt, he wound up leading the Cavaliers in scoring for the 11th time in 17 games while hitting the 20-point mark for the 10th time – the most by a freshman in school history.
Mike Scott added 10 points for Virginia (7-10, 1-5), which lost its fifth straight and hasn’t won an ACC game since the start of 2009.
The Blue Devils improved to 13-0 at home this season, winning for the 28th time in 29 games at Cameron while claiming their 14th straight win there over the Cavaliers. Virginia fell to 1-27 all-time against top-ranked teams, remained winless in 13 tries on the No. 1 team’s home floor and hasn’t won in Durham since 1995.
From the opening tip, Duke seemed determined to prove that its 70-68 loss to the Demon Deacons was nothing more than an aberration. The Blue Devils shot a season-worst 33 percent in Winston-Salem and missed 18 of their 22 attempts from 3-point range in the defeat that is almost certain to cost them their first No. 1 ranking since 2006.
But back in the cozy confines of their hostile home arena, they had no trouble rediscovering their shooting touch – even with one of their top scorers, Kyle Singler, mired in his worst game of the season.
Singler – who reached double figures in all but one of Duke’s 21 games – finished with just five points on 2-of-7 shooting and missed all five of his 3-pointers.
Henderson and Smith picked up the slack, keying the early 27-7 run that put the Blue Devils in control.
Smith started the run with seven quick points, and Henderson added seven more late in the burst to continue his recent string of dominant play.