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Duke defeats Kentucky 75-68

Super Freshman Alex Polythress was by far the brightest spot for the young wildcats in a breakout game tonight with a career high 20 points, but it wasn't enough as Duke capitalized on Kentucky's starting point guard Ryan Harrow not being able to play, as well as Kentucky's poor offensive rebounding by grabbing 13 offensive boards resulting in 13 second chance points on their way to a 75-68 win. 

Noel had a solid game with 16 points, 9 rebounds and two blocks, but was again dominated in the interior by Dukes senior center Mason Plumlee, who lead Duke with 23 points.  Kentucky was in control early 15-9, led by Polythress's impressive interior play.  The first half saw several lead changes, and the Cats went into the locker room trailing the more experienced Blue Devils 33-31 at halftime.  The second half started off with both teams exchanging baskets as Plumlee and Polythress continued to dominate for their respective teams.  Coach Cal failed to capitalize on Plumlee's fourth foul with 16 minutes remaining in the second half with Duke up 43-37, but instead saw the lead grow to 54 42 before calling timeout with 12 minutes remaining.   Coach Krzyzewski then made a confident move by putting Plumlee back in with 11minutes remaining and extended the Blue Devil lead to 14. Just when the game was getting out of hand at the 9 minute mark..... Polythress, Mays and Goodwin led the cats on a 9-0 run to pull to within three at 64-61.  The cats continued to fight but the Blue Devils hit their free throws down the stretch.

The young wildcats looked much better tonight than last week against Maryland, but again couldn't get position on the defensive glass.  Talent is one thing, but it takes fundamentals to win against a team like Duke.  Wiltcher is a great three point shooter, but he is going to have to expand his role and help his team by grabbing some rebounds. Noel was far better tonight, but is still failing to front the post and is not blocking his man out.  This is an extremely talented team, but talent isn't enough.  We won a National Championship last year with mostly freshman...but we also had senior leadership in Miller.  This is an extremely tough test this early in the season for these freshman, and they fought to the last second. As long as they maintain that kind heart, and continue to improve..they will be there toward the end of the season.

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