Kansas City, Mo. Freshman guard Kyrie Irving and senior guard Nolan Smith both had 17 points and led No. 1 Duke’s outstanding defensive effort on Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen as the Blue Devils beat the fourth-ranked Wildcats 82-68 on Tuesday night to win the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic.
Duke (5-0) made sure the sellout crowd of 18,696 at the Sprint Center, most wearing something purple, was never a factor, taking the lead for good 71⁄2 minutes into the game and then going on to lead by 17 points midway through the second half on the way to their 15th straight win.
The win was No. 800 at Duke for Mike Krzyzewski, making him the fifth coach to reach that figure at one school. His overall win total is 873, three behind Adolph Rupp for third place on the career list.
And it was another November win for Duke. The Blue Devils have won 27 straight games in the 11th month of the year and under Krzyzewski they are 107-10 in November.
This was the fourth straight year Duke won an inseason tournament and the Blue Devils won the one that comes after the season last April, their fourth national title under Krzyzewski.
Kyle Singler and Andre Dawkins both had 11 points for Duke, while Mason Plumlee added 10
Curtis Kelly led the Wildcats (4-1) with 19 points, while Pullen, the preseason All-American who led Kansas State’s run to the Elite Eight last season and made wearing a beard at a college basketball game fashionable, finished with four points on 1-for-12 shooting, including 1 of 8 from 3-point range.
Irving had the job of defending Pullen most of the game but all the Duke guards got a crack at him as well as some of the big men after switches on defense.
Duke took the lead for good when a 9-0 run took them from a 13-12 deficit into a 21-13 lead. The run started with a four-point play by Seth Curry and ended with a 3 by Dawkins on a nice pass by Curry.
The Wildcats trailed 47-39 at halftime and with the crowd imploring them on in a big game being played just two hours from campus they could get no closer than six points. They were within 51-45 on a jumper by Nick Russell with 17:09 to play. The Blue Devils went on a 10-2 spurt with five players scoring in the run. Irving’s drive with 11:51 to play made it 64-47 with 11:51 left and Duke was never threatened.
Kansas State finished 27 for 56 from the field (46.8 percent) although the Wildcats made just three of 17 3-point attempts. They finished with 21 turnovers that Duke turned into 25 points.
Duke shot 48.1 percent overall (26 for 54) but the Blue Devils made half of their 12 3-point attempts.
Kansas State is 3-14 all-time against No. 1 teams.