Preview: Duke v. Colorado State

Previewing the Blue Devils and Rams who will tip off tonight in Durham.

After a trying stretch in its schedule ended with an ugly defeat, Duke should be happy to be home, where it hasn't lost to a non-ACC team in more than a decade.

The seventh-ranked Blue Devils will look to win their 90th straight game over a non-conference opponent Wednesday night when they host Colorado State.

Duke returns to Cameron Indoor Stadium for the first time since its 82-69 win over Davidson on Nov. 18. After defeating Tennessee and a pair of ranked opponents (Michigan and Kansas) to win the Maui Invitational, the Blue Devils (7-1) never recovered from a slow start in an 85-63 loss at No. 2 Ohio State on Nov. 29.

"Sometimes you just get your butt kicked," coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We were getting our butt kicked. I've had my butt kicked before. We've kicked some butt. Tonight my butt's sore."

The Buckeyes scored the game's first 11 points and never looked back as Duke struggled to move the ball (10 assists to 12 turnovers) and allowed Ohio State to shoot 59.3 percent. Austin Rivers scored a career-high 22 points for the Blue Devils and Mason Plumlee added 16.

After playing four games in nine nights, the Blue Devils blamed fatigue as one reason for their poor play, but there were other factors.

Besides averaging 32.8 rebounds per game - in the bottom third of Division I - Duke has 108 turnovers to 93 assists on the season. Rivers has 18 assists and 18 turnovers while fellow starting guard Seth Curry has also coughed up possession 18 times.

Rivers' ball-handling may need some improvement, but the highly-regarded freshman is averaging a team-high 15.4 points.

"Every game is a chance to prove something," Rivers said. "Every game I have a chip on my shoulder because there's a lot of haters out there and I try to prove them all wrong."

The Blue Devils will now try to extend their 89-game home non-conference winning streak. Their last loss at Cameron Indoor to a non-ACC team was an 83-82 defeat to St. John's on Feb. 26, 2000.

The Rams (5-3) dropped to 0-2 in true road games after losing 83-77 at Northern Iowa on Saturday in a game they trailed throughout. Dorian Green had 21 points and nine rebounds in the defeat while Wes Eikmeier added 18.

"(Northern Iowa) defensively did a very good job on Wes early in the game," Colorado State coach Tim Miles said. "We just took too long to respond."

Eikmeier, a junior guard, is averaging a team-high 17.5 points - 19.8 in his last four games - and shooting 42.2 percent from 3-point range (15 of 36).

Colorado State's last win over a ranked opponent was a 60-48 defeat of then-No. 25 Air Force in 2004. The Rams, who have lost five straight on the road going back to last season, have dropped 15 straight against teams in the Top 25.

This is the second meeting between the programs. Duke won 67-57 in the first round of the 2003 NCAA tournament.

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