UNC-Greensboro-Duke Preview

The Associated Press

After a busy schedule away from home to start the season, Duke received some extended rest last week. Now it hopes to continue its success at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The seventh-ranked Blue Devils look to win their 91st straight home game against a non-conference opponent Monday night when they face North Carolina-Greensboro.

Duke (9-1) has been idle since its 86-80 win over Washington at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 10. It was the fifth game played on a neutral court and sixth away from home for the Blue Devils, whose only loss came at then-No. 2 Ohio State on Nov. 29.

After getting time off for exams, Duke will play its next three games at Cameron Indoor Stadium, where it has won 40 straight overall and 90 in a row against non-conference opponents. The Blue Devils' last loss to a non-ACC team was against St. John's in 2000.

While that streak doesn't seem to be in jeopardy against the Spartans, Duke is wary of being rusty, particularly after a rough finish to its last game.

The Blue Devils built a 40-26 lead at the half against Washington, but allowed the Huskies to shoot 61.8 percent after the break while missing 16 of 35 free throws, including six in the final 2:30.

"Today, one of the stories, quite obviously is our missed free throws," coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "You know, we make free throws it's not that close at the end. Now when you miss free throws like that, the result can be different at the end and you can lose."

For the season, the Blue Devils are shooting 66.4 percent at the line - ninth in the ACC. Much of that is due to Mason Plumlee, who was the worst offender against Washington, going 2 of 11.

"That can't happen," said Plumlee, shooting 38.1 percent at the line this season. "That was on me and nobody else. I've got a lot of work to do."

Despite a shaky performance its last time out, Duke continues to receive impressive outings from freshman guard Austin Rivers, who is averaging a team-high 15.8 points. He had 18 points, four rebounds and three assists against Washington.

The Blue Devils will get another lengthy layoff after Monday's game, with the team's next scheduled game against Western Michigan on Dec. 30.

While few teams enjoy their visits to Cameron Indoor Stadium, UNC-Greensboro interim coach Wes Miller has some fond memories there from his time as a player at North Carolina.

Miller took over the Spartans (2-9) after Mike Dement stepped down last Tuesday. The former Tar Heel, a member of their 2005 national championship team, made his head coaching debut in a 71-62 loss to East Carolina on Friday.

The Spartans shot 37.7 percent from the field in their sixth straight loss.

Trevis Simpson leads UNC-Greensboro with 16.0 points per game. The sophomore has averaged 23.3 in the last three games, scoring 24 against the Pirates.

Duke is 9-0 all-time against UNC-Greensboro, with six of the wins coming at home. The Blue Devils, who cruised to a 108-62 road victory in last season's meeting, have won by an average of 38.9 points.

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