The Daily Puppy

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Nolan Smith Leads Duke Past UNC-G, Mike Krzyzewski Past Dean Smith

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It might've been Duke vs. UNC-G or Mike Krzyzewski versus Dean Smith; either way the Blue Devils and Krzyzewski walked away winners.

Nolan Smith scored 26 points, 22 in the first half, to go with nine assists and Kyle Singler added 27as top-ranked Duke (12-0) made short work of UNC-Greensboro (0-12) 108-62 in the Greensboro Coliseum Wednesday night. It was the 880th win of Krzyzewski's career, moving him into second place on the all-time wins last, one ahead of longtime rival Smith.

Even 13 years after Smith retired, the rivalry between the coaches lived on in the arena, which was full of signs for each Tobacco Road coach.

The rivalry wtih UNC-G, meanwhile, remained as one-sided as always.

Duke jumped out to a 15-2 lead just over four minutes in and Duke was never seriously threatened in its ninth win in nine tries over the Spartans.

The Blue Devils were still without star freshman point guard Kyrie Irving, who remains sidelined indefinitely with a toe injury, but they didn't much need him Wednesday. The senior Smith, who slid over to point after Irving's injury in December, raced the Blue Devils up and down the floor. His 22 points at the break were just 10 fewer than the Spartans, who trailed 53-32 at the break. Smith didn't commit a turnover in the game, against nine assists.

In the second half, Singler took over, scoring 12 points before heading to the bench midway through the period. Five Blue Devils scored in double figures.

But the score was a mere formality on a night to crown Krzyzewski as Tobacco Road's winningest coach and the second winningest coach in Division I.

As Duke walked of fthe floor, a sign posed a challenge for Krzyzewski that may prove no harder to beat the Spartans. "Up next," it read, "Bobby Knight."

How It Was Won: The Blue Devils had a pronounced talent advantage on UNC-G, but Smith's first half ensured Cinderella had no place on this night.

How It Was Lost: UNC-G simply had one too few of everything. When Duke went big with the Plumlees or Ryan Kelly at the four and five, UNC-G struggled to defend Kyle Singler at small forward. When they went with three guards, UNC-G struggled to keep up. But for a team that lost by 46 points, there were no lapses on the compete level.

Stat of the Game: The Spartans finished with 23 field goals and 23 turnovers.

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