There was an early moment of trepidation in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Wednesday night before top-ranked Duke turned it on in a scoring surge rarely seen.
Seth Curry led a balanced attack with 20 points and Mason Plumlee added 18 points and nine boards, as the Blue Devils used an eye-popping second-half run to rout Cornell, 88-47.
Rasheed Sulaimon posted 16 points and Quinn Cook added six points and 12 assists for the Blue Devils (10-0), who posted their 99th straight non- conference victory in Durham, the longest such streak in the country. They used a 41-4 scoring start to the second half to break open a close game early.
"In the second half we came out with a lot more energy," said Curry. "Our defense was a lot better. We translated tipped balls into layups and fast- break points."
Shonn Miller led Cornell (4-7) with 14 points and six rebounds. The Big Red made things interesting early just two days after falling by 11 points at Vanderbilt.
Cornell had an early 12-8 lead and still was within striking distance at 28-25 after Miller's jumper with just under six minutes to play in the first half. The Blue Devils built a 41-30 margin at the half, but it was a methodical extension of the advantage that served as little evidence for the oncoming onslaught.
The Blue Devils started the second half with a 41-4 surge, including 10 points from Curry, to take an 82-34 lead. Cornell went nearly 6 1/2 minutes before its first points of the half, missing its first 10 shots, and started the second half 2-of-17 from the floor.
Duke didn't miss much during that time period, making 13 of its first 15 shots including Amile Jefferson's slam for a 57-30 lead. Errick Peck's bucket for the Big Red stopped a 19-0 run, but Curry responded with six in a row for a 66-32 lead.
The rout was on from there as Duke played every player on its bench and all but two scored.
Jefferson scored eight points and Alex Murphy added seven off the bench ... Duke ended the game on a 60-21 run ... The 41-4 scoring surge spanned 12 minutes, 45 seconds ... Mike Krzyzewski improved to 24-1 against the Ivy League as Duke head coach .. Duke didn't score a single second-chance point in the win.