Dec. 5, 2011
Colorado State at No. 7/5 Duke | Game 9
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||DUKE BLUE DEVILS|
|CSU RETURNING STATISTICAL LEADERS||DUKE STATISTICAL LEADERS|
Colorado State travels to Durham, N.C., and famed Cameron Indoor Stadium, for a nationally televised matchup against the No. 7/5-ranked Duke Blue Devils.
Wednesday's game is set for a 7 p.m. ET/5 p.m. MT tipoff on ESPN2, with Mike Patrick (play-by-play) and Len Elmore (analyst).
Fans can also catch the radio broadcast on the Colorado State Sports Network as Voice of the Rams, Brian Roth, calls the action.
Streaming audio is also available at CSURams.com/allaccess.
Live stats are available by at GoDuke.com
The Rams (5-3), are coming off of an 83-77 loss at Northern Iowa on Saturday as part of the third annual Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the Rams.
The Blue Devils (7-1) are coming off an 85-63 loss at No. 2-ranked Ohio State as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Duke is now ranked seventh by the Associated Press and fifth in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll after rising to No. 3/4 with seven consecutive wins to open the season.
The matchup pits two of the country's top three-point shooting teams against one another. Colorado State enters Wednesday's game ranked No. 1 nationally in three-point shooting percentage, connecting from long range at a clip of 45.6 percent. Duke ranks 14th, hitting 43.2 percent of its shots from beyond the arc.
Duke, ranked seventh by the Associated Press and fifth in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll, enters Wednesday's contest against Colorado State with a 7-1 mark.
The Blue Devils have not played since Nov. 29, an 85-63 setback at No. 2-ranked Ohio State as party of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Duke is 3-0 at Cameron Indoor Stadium this season, recording wins over Belmont (77-76), Presbyterian (96-55) and Davidson (82-69) at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Blue Devils have also recorded neutral-site victories over Michigan State (74-69) at Madison Square Garden, and vs. Tennessee (77-67), No. 15 Michigan (82-75) and No. 14 Kansas (68-61) at the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii.
The teams' only road game of the season, at No. 2 Ohio State, resulted in a loss.
Duke enters Wednesday's game tied for the longest active home-court win streak in the NCAA at 39 consecutive games. Duke's last home loss was Feb. 11, 2009 when the No. 6-ranked Blue Devils fell 101-87 to No. 3-ranked North Carolina.
Duke posted a 32-5 mark in 2010-11, including an 13-3 conference record and a second-place finish in the ACC. The Blue Devils fell in the Sweet 16 of the 2011 NCAA tournament to the Arizona Wildcats.
Freshman guard Austin Rivers leads the Blue Devils in scoring, averaging 15.4 points per game. Junior guard Seth Curry, who ranks 15th nationally with a free-throw percentage of .929, is just behind Rivers at a scoring clip of 14.1 per game. Junior forwards Ryan Kelly (12.8 ppg.) and Mason Plumlee (12.0 ppg.) also averaged double-figures scoring for the Blue Devils.
Mason Plumlee ranks as the Blue Devils' top rebounder, averaging 9.8 boards per game, which is good enough for 31st nationally.
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the all-time leader in coaching victories, enters Wednesday's game with a career record of 907-285 in his 37th season. He is 834-226 in his 32nd season at Duke, and has led the Blue Devils to four national championships.
Series vs. Duke
Wednesday evening's contest marks just the second in the series between the CSU Rams and the Duke Blue Devils.
The initial matchup between the two schools came during the 2003 NCAA tournament when Duke, led by Dahntay Jones, held off Brian Greene, Matt Nelson and the Rams for a a 67-57 opening-round victory at the John M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The matchup marked CSU's most recent appearance in the NCAA tournament. Now under fifth-year Head Coach Tim Miles, CSU has participated in back-to-back postseason tourneys with berths in the 2010 College Basketball Invitational and the 2011 National Invitation Tournament.
A closer look at the 2003 matchup
CSU entered the matchup as a No. 14 seed, and was matched up with the third-seeded Blue Devils after winning the Mountain West's automatic bid as tournament champions.
Sophomore C Matt Nelson, fresh off of an MVP performance at the MW tourney, led the Rams with 21 points and eight boards in the contest, while senior F Brian Greene notched a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards, and added three steals.
Duke was led in scoring by Dahntay Jones, who posted a game-high 23 points and added six rebounds. J.J. Redick also finished in double-figures scoring for Duke with 16 points. Shelden Williams finished with nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
After falling behind by as many as 12 points early in the second half, CSU cut the Duke lead to just two points, 59-57, with 3:01 to play. But the postseason experience of the Blue Devils showed through as they answered CSU's six-point run with eight straight to end the game.
Duke fell to eventual national runner-up Kansas in the Sweet 16.
Starting forward Pierce Hornung, who had played in 67 consecutive games to start his career at Colorado State, has missed CSU's last five games - vs. Southern Miss (Nov. 19), vs. UTSA (Nov. 21), vs. Manhattan (Nov. 22), vs. Colorado (Nov. 30) and at UNI (Dec. 3) - after suffering a concussion against Stanford on Nov. 15.
Prior to the injury Hornung, who was named 2011 MW Sixth Man of the Year, led the Rams in minutes per game, rebounds per game, blocks and steals.
With Hornung in the starting lineup, the Rams surrendered just 59.3 points per game to open the season with wins over Montana (64-58) and SMU (75-56) before falling to eventual runner-up Stanford (64-52) in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Since Hornung's injury, the Rams have gone 3-2, and have given up an average of 77.4 points per game.
A win over Duke will...
Move the Rams to 6-3 to open the 2011-12 season.
Snap Colorado State's five-game road losing streak.
Move the Rams even, 1-1, in the all-time series against the Blue Devils.
Give Colorado State its first victory over a ranked opponent since a 60-48 victory vs. No. 25 Air Force (March 11, 2003) in the Mountain West tournament. CSU has lost 15 straight to ranked opponents.
Mark the Rams' first road victory over a ranked opponent since Dec. 20, 1989, a 78-67 victory over No. 24-ranked North Carolina in Chapel Hill. The Rams have lost 17 straight road games against ranked opponents.
Give Colorado State its first victory over a top-10 ranked opponent since the Rams scored a 63-51 victory over No. 5-ranked UTEP on Jan. 19, 1984.
Snap Duke's nation-leading 39-game home-court win streak and put an end to the Blue Devils' streak of 83 consecutive home wins against unranked opponents.
Colorado State returns to Fort Collins where the team will take 12 days away from the court to focus on finals the week of Dec. 12.
Colorado State's next contest is slated for Dec. 19, a home matchup against the Texas Southern Tigers.
Tipoff between the Rams and the Tigers is slated for 7 p.m. MT at Moby Arena
Fans can catch the game on the Colorado State Sports Network as Voice of the Rams, Brian Roth, calls the action courtside. Streaming audio is also available at CSURams.com/allaccess.
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