Coach K Ties Dean Smith as No. 1 Duke Cruises to Win Over Elon
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) --Kyle Singlerscored 24 points to help No. 1DukebeatElon98-72 on Monday night, moving coach Mike Krzyzewski into a tie for second place on the all-time wins list.
Nolan Smithadded 22 points as the Blue Devils (11-0) gave their Hall of Fame coach his 879th win in 36 seasons at Duke andArmy. Krzyzewski is now tied with Dean Smith, who spent 36 seasons at rivalNorth Carolinabefore retiring in 1997 as the winningest coach Division I history.
Krzyzewski can pass Smith by beatingNorth Carolina-Greensboroat the Greensboro Coliseum on Dec. 29. That would leave only Bobby Knight ahead of him, as Knight passed Smith with 902 wins before retiring almost three years ago.
Andre Dawkinsscored 17 off the bench for Duke, which took control with a 14-0 first-half run but couldn't put away the Phoenix (4-7) until the final 6 minutes.
Coming off a nine-day exam break, Duke looked flat and a step slow against a program that had never played the nation's top-ranked team since moving to Division I in the 1999-2000 season. In fact, outside of that 14-0 spurt that gave the Blue Devils a 21-8 lead on Singler's 3-pointer with 12 1/2 minutes before halftime, Elon - currently 0-3 in the Southern Conference - played Duke even over the next 26 minutes and trailed just 75-62 on a pair of free throws fromChris Longwith 6:34 to play.
The Blue Devils finally closed it out with an 8-0 spurt led by Smith, who sat for about 9 minutes of the second half after picking up his fourth foul. First, he rebounded a missed jumper fromRyley Beaumontand led the break before finding Dawkins for a 3 from the right wing while drawing a foul from Long.
Dawkins made the free throw, thenSeth Curryadded a pair of free throws before Smith capped the spurt with a jumper that made it 83-62 with 5:32 left. Elon got no closer than 17 points the rest of the night, with Duke getting three straight 3s from Dawkins, Smith andRyan Kellyto make the score look a lot more lopsided than the game actually was.
Duke has now won 21 straight games dating back to last season's run to the Atlantic Coast Conference and NCAA tournament titles, and 29 of 30 overall.