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Duke's undefeated form starts on outside

RALEIGH, N.C. — When looking at this season's Duke team, most scouts and writers have raved about power forward Mason Plumlee, a national player of the year candidate.

Plumlee leads the top-ranked Blue Devils in scoring, but they have relied just as much on an old friend, the 3-pointer.

Duke (15-0) leads the ACC with 117, and it's making a staggering 42.7 percent.

N.C. State senior Richard Howell said the challenge starts with limiting Quinn Cook's drive-and-kick assists.

"We have to keep their guards out of the paint," Howell said. "Quinn Cook is one of the best when he gets in the paint at finding guys. Every time I look up, he has 12 or 15 assists, and that's something we can't let happen."

N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried knows all too well what can happen when his team doesn't defend the perimeter against Duke. Last season the Pack led Duke by 20 with 11:30 left before Seth Curry scored 21 of his season-high 26 in the second half to stun the Pack.

"Obviously, when you play Duke, we learned it last year in those last eight to 10 minutes that their perimeter guys can take over," Gottfried said. "We get it. They're really good. So we've got to be ready."

Friday's games

NO. 13 CREIGHTON 74, MISSOURI ST. 52: Doug McDermott had a season-high 39 points, including all 18 for visiting Creighton in the first 7:12 of the second half. McDermott, the reigning MVC player of the year, hit his first 10 shots in the second half for the Bluejays (16-1, 5-0).

WOMEN: NO. 14 UCLA 78, WASH. ST. 52: Atonye Nyingifa scored 17 for the Bruins (12-2, 3-0 Pac-12) who have won all 27 meetings over the Cougars in Los Angeles.

Duke's undefeated form starts on outside 01/11/13 [Last modified: Saturday, January 12, 2013 12:28am]
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