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12/19/2012 10:28 PM EST
No. 1 Duke cruises past Cornell, 88-47
DUKE 88, CORNELL 47

By JOEDY McCREARY
AP Sports Writer

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Quinn Cook took care of passing the ball.
Nearly everyone else at Duke handled the scoring, and that had
the Blue Devils looking like a No. 1 team again.



Seth Curry scored 20 points and Cook had a career-high 12
assists in top-ranked Duke's 88-47 rout of Cornell on Wednesday
night.



Mason Plumlee added 18 points, freshman Rasheed Sulaimon had 16
points and Cook showed up all over the box score for the Blue
Devils (10-0), who were playing as a No. 1 team for the 210th
time under Mike Krzyzewski but the first since February 2011.



After a slow start, they certainly wound up looking the part by
posting two key season highs - shooting 56.7 percent and forcing
26 turnovers - while reeling off 23 straight points and holding
the Big Red scoreless for an 8-minute stretch when the game got
away from them.



"I don't think that it's hit any of us that we're No. 1," Cook
said. "We don't go out there like, `We're the No. 1 team,
everything's going to happen like this.' That should be
motivation - we're the No. 1 team, we want to keep the spot."



Shonn Miller had 14 points to lead Cornell (4-7). The Big Red
missed their first 10 shots of the second half and shot 22.6
percent over the final 20 minutes to lose their third in four
games and fall to 0-4 all-time against No. 1 teams.



Cornell hung around for about 15 minutes before the Blue Devils
pulled away at the end of the first half and turned the second
half into one 20-minute-long run by outscoring the Big Red 47-17
to claim their 99th straight nonconference victory at Cameron
Indoor Stadium.



"Eventually, their length, size and quickness really affected
us," Cornell coach Bill Courtney said. "They forced turnovers
because they are so long and so well-disciplined on defense. ...
Their ability to make shots is unbelievable and that is what
they do."



The Blue Devils can extend that streak to triple digits Thursday
night when Elon visits.



Once Duke - playing its first game since Dec. 8 and just its
third this month - finally found its rhythm, several players put
up some big numbers in the final box.



"I'm not going to blame the layoff," Krzyzewski said. "I didn't
think we were ready defensively, and they were good. They were
really good at pushing the ball up, and I don't think we had the
emotion needed to play defense. I think the last 8 minutes of
the first half, we started getting it, ended the half really
well and the second half, we were terrific."



Curry was 7 of 10 with three 3-pointers in his second straight
20-point game and fourth of the season. Plumlee finished one
rebound shy of his fourth straight double-double and was perfect
from the field, hitting all eight of his shots at Duke's basket
and one inadvertent and inconsequential one into the Big Red's.



And Cook, who has taken ownership of the starting point guard
job during the past month, did all the little things for the
Blue Devils. He finished the first half one assist shy of his
previous career high of nine, and he and Tyler Thornton combined
to finish with 17 assists and one turnover.



"It gets guys going, gets guys shots in positions they want the
ball, and that benefits Mason a lot - he's able to just catch
and finish," Curry said. "When he's doing that, we're at our
best."



Cook's pinpoint passing set up Duke's first three baskets out of
the halftime break, when the Blue Devils built upon their lead
by scoring the first 19 points of the half. Sulaimon pushed the
lead into the 20s for the first time when his free throw with
16:51 left made it 50-30, and Josh Hairston made it a 30-point
game with a three-point play that put Duke up 60-30 with 13:51
to go.



That lopsided margin made it easy to forget that the Blue Devils
had trouble getting into a groove until the end of a disjointed
first half in which they shot nearly 59 percent, forced 15
turnovers - yet only led 41-30 after a 13-4 run that closed the
half. Plumlee capped it with a layup with about 9 seconds left
that gave Duke its first double-figure lead - and it only
swelled from there.

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