No. 1 Duke 98, S. Carolina St. 40
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) _ Elton Brand scored 18 points as unbeaten Duke celebrated its No. 1 ranking Monday night with a 98-40 rout of South Carolina State.
Earlier in the day, the Blue Devils (6-0) returned to the top spot in The Associated Press poll for the first time since Jan. 31, 1994.
Duke improved its non-conference record at Cameron Indoor Stadium to 109-2 since February 1983.
The Blue Devils used a smothering defense to beat the Bulldogs (0-2) for the sixth straight time. The man-to-man pressure held South Carolina State scoreless for the first six minutes while Duke ran up a 12-0 lead.
An 11-0 run covering nearly three minutes settled the issue for Duke. Three-pointers by Trajan Langdon and William Avery helped push the edge to 28-8 at the 7:49 mark. Duke didn’t get a field goal for the next three minutes, but South Carolina State got no closer than 31-18, after a 15-foot jumper by Brian Neis.
Duke forced 15 turnovers, had nine steals and held the Bulldogs to 25.9 percent shooting in the first half.
The second half virtually copied the first. Duke scored the first nine points of the period, and capped the triumph with a 25-5 run covering eight minutes.
Langdon had 17 points for the Blue Devils, followed by 16 from reserve Chris Burgess. Shane Battier had 15 and Mike Chappell added 13 for Duke.
Raheem Waller, who scored 19 points for the Bulldogs in their season-opening loss to Alabama A&M, had seven points for the Bulldogs, who hit 32 percent of their shots and finished with 33 turnovers.