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Blue Devils beat Albany, advance in Midwest

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- Seth Curry scored 26 points to lead Duke to a 73-61 victory over Albany in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday at the Wells Fargo Center.

Curry and senior forward Mason Plumlee combined for 49 points on an efficient 25 shots from the field, part of a 27-of-46 shooting performance (58.7 percent) by the Blue Devils, who are seeded second in the Midwest Regional.

Albany, the 15th seed, made a late first-half run to cut a 13-point Duke lead to five with 1:54 remaining before halftime. The Blue Devils' advantage was back up to nine at the half and reached 14 in the first five minutes of the second half, a margin they would sustain for the next 10 minutes.

Duke's lead was whittled to eight with 4:40 remaining on two free throws by Albany's Jacob Iati, but the Great Danes would get no closer the rest of the way.

"We beat a team playing really well this afternoon," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "The second half we scored well -- we could just never put them away because they would score. But overall it was a good, tough win for our basketball team."

Iati led Albany with 15 points, hitting 3 of 4 3-point shots. Peter Hooley (13 points), Mike Black (10) and Sam Rowley (10) also scored in double figures. The Great Danes were the fourth seed in the America East tournament but won three games on their home court to go dancing for just the third time in school history, and the first since 2007.

Curry, younger brother of Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and half of the highest-scoring pair of brothers in NCAA history, hit 10 of 14 shots from the field, including both of his 3-pointers, and added six rebounds.

"I was confident coming into this game, I was going to take advantage of my opportunities, try to work harder off the ball to get shots and guys did a good job of screening for me and things like that," he said.

Plumlee, who finished with a game-high eight rebounds, helped the taller and more athletic Blue Devils to a 36-20 points advantage in the paint.

In beating Albany, Duke avoided falling to a No. 15 seed in the first round of the tournament for the second consecutive year. Lehigh shocked the nation with a 75-70 victory over the perennial powerhouse Blue Devils in 2012.

Duke advanced to the third round and will face the Creighton-Cincinnati winner.

Notes: Duke is now 5-0 in NCAA Tournament games played in Philadelphia. ... The win was Duke's 1,999th as a program and 97th victory in the NCAA Tournament. ... Duke guard Quinn Cook's 11 assists were the second-best for a Blue Devil in the NCAA Tournament (Quinn Snyder, 1988)
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