DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Mike Krzyzewski tied Bob Knight atop the Division I men’s career wins list with his 902nd victory in No. 6 Duke’s 96-55 rout against Presbyterian on Saturday.
Ryan Kelly scored 17 points for the Blue Devils (2-0), who shot 61 percent and used a huge first-half run to deliver another milestone victory to their Hall of Fame coach.
Coach K improved to 902-284 during his 37th season as a college coach at Army and Duke. He can pass Knight — his coach and mentor — on Tuesday night against Michigan State at Madison Square Garden.
Krzyzewski continued his steady climb up the wins list by matching Knight — for whom he played point guard at Army in the 1960s. The Cameron Crazies chanted “902” as the final seconds ticked away, then chanted his name after the horn. Krzyzewski briefly huddled with the Blue Devils on the court, then hustled into the locker room as the song “Celebration” blared from the speakers.
Freshman Austin Rivers scored 15 points, Miles Plumlee had 13 points and 11 rebounds and younger brother Mason Plumlee added 13 points for Duke, which improved on a couple of streaks at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils won their NCAA-best 38th straight home game and their 88th in a row against nonconference opponents at home.
The biggest challenge the Blue Devils faced — aside from all the attention for their coach’s march toward history — was the possibility of fatigue after a quick turnaround. The game against Presbyterian started roughly 17 hours after Duke’s tighter-than-expected, 77-76 victory over pesky mid-major Belmont in the opener.
The Blue Devils had to work plenty hard to beat those Bruins, who returned the nucleus of a regular NCAA tournament team. They weren’t required to expel nearly as much effort to beat a Blue Hose team that until last year had never defeated an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent.
Duke’s young team — which has only one senior on the roster — is learning to play without three key players who are now on NBA rosters: Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler and, to a lesser extent, Kyrie Irving, who played only 11 games during his lone injury-plagued season in Durham.
These Blue Devils took a significant step forward by coming up with their first overwhelming run of the new season.
Duke outscored Presbyterian 29-6 midway through the first half to push its lead well into double figures and remove all the drama from this one. The Blue Devils led just 19-17 with 12 minutes left in the half before Mason Plumlee started the burst with consecutive baskets. Freshman Quinn Cook hit two 3s during the surge and reserve Josh Hairston capped the run with a layup that made it 48-20 with 3 minutes before the break.
Cook and Seth Curry finished with 10 points apiece.
Al’Lonzo Coleman had 11 points for Presbyterian (1-1). Pierre Miller scored 10 points, and his 3 made it a two-point game before Duke began its decisive run. Presbyterian, the preseason pick to finish seventh in the Big South, went 8½ minutes without a field goal during that span.