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  Saturday, Dec. 9 9:00pm ET
Devils deflate Wolverines with 34-2 start

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- If No. 1 Duke is forced to pick a weakness, it has been inconsistency on defense. That got fixed in a hurry Saturday night.

The undefeated Blue Devils (9-0) started with a mind-numbing 34-2 run en route to a 104-61 thumping of Michigan -- a team off to its worst start in 19 seasons.

"That was pretty awesome," Shane Battier said of Duke's early defensive domination. "I've seen a lot of things in basketball, but I don't think I've ever seen a game start 34-2.

"People talk about being in a zone offensively and not being able to miss a shot. For a point there, we felt like we were in the zone defensively. They couldn't make a pass against us."

Michigan danced on Duke's emblem during pregame introductions at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Moments later, the top-ranked Blue Devils were stomping the slumping Wolverines.

"We saw it," Battier said. "We believe the only one who should be jumping around on our court is us. If we can use something as extra motivation we'll do it."

It was the fourth-worst loss in school history for the Wolverines (2-5), who also lost to Duke by 44 in 1998.

"Those guys were very accurate right from the beginning," Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe said. "Our young guys were very, very shell-shocked. They just did not function in this environment -- at all. There was a lot of standing around."

Battier, who was battling a mini slump the last three games, had 10 of Duke's first 21 points during its remarkable display of offense and defense against a Michigan team that had trouble making it over half-court, let alone scoring.

Battier scored 21 points to lead Duke, while Jason Williams added 20 for his fourth straight game with at least that many.

LaVell Blanchard led Michigan with 20, while Bernard Robinson had 17 of his 19 in the second half.

"In the locker room before the game we were very enthusiastic," Blanchard said. "This was a chance of a lifetime. You can be enthusiastic, but you've got to produce on the court."

This was one of college basketball's best rivalries during the 1990s, but Duke has won nine of the last 12 meetings and turned this one into a laugher 10 minutes in.

Michigan went nine minutes without a basket, turned the ball over 20 times in the opening half and allowed the Blue Devils to roll up 59 points.

"I felt in the first half, it hurt us when they scored," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "That's how I want us to play, where it hurts when you get scored upon."

Duke's 41-point halftime lead tied for third best in school history as Michigan lost its fourth straight -- all by double digits.

The Blue Devils led 9-0 less than three minutes in as Battier made a pair of free throws and a three-point play to get the nation's top-ranked team out of the gates fast.

Michigan missed 13 of its first 14 shots and turned it over 11 times during Duke's best stretch of basketball this season. When the lead reached 32 about eight minutes before halftime, the Cameron Crazies chanted, "We want Oakland," in reference to a small Michigan college that beat the Wolverines earlier this season.

The students also gave Blanchard a "Bronx cheer" when he scored on a baseline shot to break the long scoring drought.

"I think there were people that weren't ready for this atmosphere and we played back on our heels," Michigan's Gavin Groninger said. "We've got to learn from this. Hopefully, we'll bring something good out of this."

Duke made two less shots (21) in the first half than Michigan attempted as the Wolverines shot 22 percent.

Michigan's two starting freshmen -- point guard Avery Queen and leading scorer Robinson -- were the most overwhelmed by Duke and Cameron's atmosphere. The two combined for nine of Michigan 20 first-half giveaways and Robinson was held to one shot in the opening 20 minutes.

Duke got 26 points off of those turnovers as Michigan's start is its worst since going 1-7 to open the 1981-82 season.

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