The Blue Devils, coming off of a long layoff and very little game action in the month of December, looked every bit the rusty squad. Duke’s first half against the Brown Bears was chock full of defensive mistakes that would make one think they avoided all contact with the scouting report. The Blue Devils allowed the Bears to shoot 5-10 from beyond the arc in the first half while going 0-11 themselves from distance. The Blue Devils built an 11 point lead only to allow the Bears to shoot themselves down to only a 6 point deficit at the half. At one point in the second half, with the Blue Devils playing lackadaisical defensively, Coach K called a timeout, removed his jacket rather vigorously and commenced to yell furiously at his team’s lack of effort. The second half saw a much more engaged Blue Devil team take the floor.
Defensively the Blue Devils ratcheted up the pressure, especially on the perimeter, only allowing the Bears to shoot 11% from beyond the arc after allowing 50% in the first half. Duke would pull away outscoring the Bears by 19 in the second half and winning easily 75 – 50. The Blue Devils were paced by Vernon Carey Jr. who scored 19 points and also jointly led the Blue Devils in rebounds with 6, an honor he shared with Jack White and Wendell Moore. Duke struggled to shoot the ball from the outside until Alex O’Connell got hot hitting a few long range jumpers, then both of Duke’s 2 three point buckets. O’Connell went on to score 14 points on 4-10 shooting.
Jordan Goldwire, who started for the injured Tre Jones, dished 5 assists for the Blue Devils and only one turnover. Goldwire also had 3 steals. Wendell Moore, who shared some of the point guard duties with Goldwire, contributed 3 assists, 4 steals and 7 rebounds to go with his 10 points.
The Blue Devils out-rebounded the Bears 45-34, had a 34 to 12 advantage in bench points and a 48 to 22 advantage in paint points.