Predictably the Duke Blue Devils came out in their first ACC game rusty. The 16 day layoff took its toll on the Blue Devils offensive execution. Duke had a hard time settling into an offensive flow but used their prowess on the offensive glass and second chance points (12 to 0 first half advantage) to inch ahead for a 7 point half time lead. While Zion Williams having a big half is nothing new for the Blue Devils, the bench played a huge role in keeping Duke ahead in that first half. 18 bench points lead by 9 points from junior Jack White who shot 3-5 and pulled down 3 rebounds, and 7 from junior Marques Bolden were huge for Duke with R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish shooting a combined 2-10 in the first half.
Duke came out with a second half flourish and a 14-0 in the first 3 minutes to virtually put the game away. The Blue Devils did a much better job taking care of the ball in the second half, only turning the ball over 3 times as opposed to the 9 they gave away in the first half. Defensively Duke never wavered forcing the Tigers into 19 turnovers with 13 steals and also blocking 6 shots.
Zion Williams led the Blue Devils in scoring with his sixth double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds in 22 minutes. It’s Zion’s third straight double-double and fourth in five games. Tre Jones set a new career-high with nine assists and was an assist shy of his first career double-double, also scoring 10 points. The freshman point guard had zero turnovers in the game.
The Blue Devils also got double figure efforts from R.J Barrett with 13 points and 9 rebounds, Jack White who scored 12 off the bench and Marques Bolden who poured in 11 points on 5-10 shooting.