Blue Devils Dump Clemson 81-55

After struggling through much of the first half, Duke used a 14-0 to put some distance between itself and Clemson before cruising to a 26 point victory. Freshman Luol Deng led the way with a career high 22 points and seven rebounds.

J.J. Redick scored 23 points to lift No. 1 Duke past Clemson 81-55 Sunday.

Freshman Luol Deng matched his career-high with 22 points for the Blue Devils (20-1, 9-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who notched a 20-win season for the eighth straight year. Duke has won 17 consecutive games overall and 38 straight at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Blue Devils continued their dominance over the Tigers (9-11, 2-7), winning their 17th straight meeting and 13th in a row by a double-digit margin. The Tigers haven't beaten the Blue Devils since January 1997.

Clemson is 4-53 all-time in Durham, and hasn't won here since January 1995.

Sharrod Ford scored 19 points to lead the Tigers, while Shawan Robinson added 18.

Duke was coming off an emotional 83-81 overtime win at rival North Carolina on Thursday night, and the Blue Devils looked flat early. They missed 18 of their first 26 shots and didn't play the lockdown defense that had marked their winning streak.

But the Blue Devils used a 14-0 run spanning halftime to get some breathing room, then maintained their double-digit lead in a grind-it-out game that featured 49 personal fouls.

The Blue Devils weren't the only ones that seemed a little lethargic early. The Cameron Crazies did not fill up the student section - a rare sight for ACC games - and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski yelled and motioned for them to get loud as he ran off the court at halftime.

The Tigers, meanwhile, showed no early signs of rust from a weeklong layoff since upsetting the Tar Heels 81-72 on Jan. 31. They fought Duke on every possession and got solid play from Ford and Robinson to hang around, but never could make a serious run in the second half.

The teams were tied at 27 before Duke put together a quick spurt, scoring nine straight points in the final 90 seconds of the half - including a 3-pointer from seldom-used Lee Melchionni just before the horn - for a 36-27 lead.

The Blue Devils scored the first five points of the second half. Redick found Deng for a layup, then found him again with a no-look pass for a dunk and a 41-27 lead with 17:35 to go.

Clemson got no closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

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