Grayson Allen

Duke's Matt Jones (13) and North Carolina State's Anthony Barber (12) chase after the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

No. 20 Duke snaps three-game skid with win at N.C. State

Leave a comment

Duke snapped its three-game losing streak by picking up an important 88-78 ACC road win at N.C. State on Saturday afternoon. Freshman Brandon Ingram and sophomore Grayson Allen were both tremendous in the win as the Blue Devils picked up a decisive victory in a building that has been tough for them in recent years.

Ingram went for 25 points and seven rebounds, scoring effortlessly in multiple ways and finishing 10-for-16 from the floor. Allen was great attacking off the dribble and finished with 28 points, seven assists and seven rebounds on 11-for-17 shooting from the field. The duo led a Duke offense that was red hot in the second half and scored field goals nearly every trip down the floor.

N.C. State (11-9, 1-6) had solid offensive contributions from multiple players, as Cat Barber led five players in double figures with 19 points, but they just couldn’t get enough stops to get back in the game in the second half.

This is the type of confidence-boosting win that Duke needed heading into Monday night’s game at Miami. The Blue Devils showed with the win at N.C. State that even though they have lost a few games early in ACC play that they have the talent to compete with anyone if Ingram and Allen play well.

The Blue Devils (15-5, 4-3) only went six deep against the Wolfpack and got away with it thanks to minimal foul problems and some scoring around the two stars. Ingram looked like an All-ACC player against N.C. State and if Allen plays to that level, Duke’s offense will be really tough to stop on most nights.

Utah outlasts No. 7 Duke in overtime

Utah forward Jakob Poeltl (42) battles for a rebound against Duke center Marshall Plumlee (40) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Associated Press
2 Comments

Utah overcame foul trouble and a limited second half from star sophomore center Jakob Poeltl as the Runnin’ Utes upset No. 7 Duke, 77-75, on Saturday in Madison Square Garden.

At the end of a wild game, Luke Kennard made a four-point play with under 10 seconds left and Duke trailing by six. Utah turned the ball over on the ensuing inbounds play with 6.7 seconds left, but Brandon Ingram missed the game-tying look just outside of the restricted area as Utah’s Kyle Kuzma recovered the defensive rebound and was fouled.

Poeltl quickly picked up his third and fourth fouls in the second half and didn’t score for over 20 minutes of game action before turning it on at the end of the game for Utah. The sophomore had multiple blocks at the rim, finished plays with rebounds and also attacked Duke senior center Marshall Plumlee on the offensive end — who was also battling foul problems.

Finishing with 19 points and 14 rebounds, Poeltl was a huge boost for Utah late, as they were carried for much of the second half by Kuzma. The sophomore forward scored 13 consecutive points for Utah during one stretch and he finished with 21 points and eight rebounds, taking advantage of Duke using smaller lineups when Plumlee wasn’t on the floor.

Duke struggled to adapt without senior forward Amile Jefferson, who is sitting out with a fractured foot. The Blue Devils used various zone looks in the first half and only slowed down Utah when Poeltl was on the bench in foul trouble. Sophomore guard Grayson Allen was also struggling with flu-like symptoms and only finished 3-for-17 from the floor for seven points for the Blue Devils.

Duke (9-2) struggled overall as a team, shooting 29 percent (23-for-77) from the field and 28 percent (8-for-28) from 3-point range. Freshman guard Luke Kennard paced Duke with 24 points — 10 of which came in overtime — while Matt Jones added 18 points. Freshman Brandon Ingram tallied 15 points for Duke.

Utah (9-2) also had a solid outing from guard Lorenzo Bonham, who finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.

Without Jefferson, Utah outrebounded Duke 56-38 on the afternoon. Utah avenged a loss against Duke in last season’s Sweet 16 as they beat the Blue Devils for the first time since 1970.

This is a great win for Utah, who picks up a signature victory and showed that it could hang with elite teams without Poeltl on the floor for the whole game. Kuzma showed that he’s a matchup problem for plenty of teams and Bonham was also steady at both ends of the floor.

With only a limited rotation without Jefferson, Duke is still trying to figure out lineups — especially if Plumlee is battling foul trouble. Freshman center Chase Jeter still isn’t ready for major minutes and Brandon Ingram doesn’t help enough as a rebounder if he plays the four. It’ll be a trial-and-error process for Duke with some of these smaller lineups, but it’s encouraging that Kennard stepped up and attacked the way that he did.

Freshman Ingram leads No. 7 Duke past Georgia Southern 99-65

Grayson Allen, Jake Allsmiller
Associated Press
Leave a comment

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Freshman Brandon Ingram had season highs of 26 points and 14 rebounds, and No. 7 Duke beat Georgia Southern 99-65 on Tuesday night.

Grayson Allen added 18 points, Matt Jones had 16 and Derryck Thornton finished with 15 for the Blue Devils (9-1) in their first game without high-energy forward Amile Jefferson. He averages a double-double but is out indefinitely with a right foot injury.

Playing for the first time in 10 days due to final exams, Duke wasn’t always crisp but still had little trouble pulling away for its seventh straight win. The Blue Devils shot 57.6 percent in the second half and held a 55-29 rebounding advantage.

Tookie Brown scored 20 points and Mike Hughes added 14 for Georgia Southern (3-5), which has lost two straight and five of seven.

For Duke, the priority in this one was figuring out the best way to play without Jefferson, who started the first nine games and averaged 11 points and 10 rebounds – including an ACC-best 4.8 on the offensive end.

The easy answer was to lean hard on Ingram and Marshall Plumlee, who finished with a career-best 11 rebounds.

Jefferson watched from the bench in sweats with a hard cast on his foot, and Duke replaced him in the starting lineup with Luke Kennard – a freshman making his first start – and shifted Ingram from small forward to Jefferson’s power forward spot.

The Blue Devils led for all but about 30 seconds and began to pull away during the final minute of the first half. Jones hit a free throw with 32.2 seconds left before Chase Jeter grabbed his miss and Thornton hit a 3 from the corner just before the buzzer to put Duke up 47-32 at halftime.

Plumlee opened the second half with a stickback dunk, and Ingram followed with a steal and a fast-break dunk through contact. After Ingram swished a 3 two possessions later to make it a 20-point game, Duke was well on its way to another easy win.

TIP-INS

Georgia Southern: The Eagles were playing a ranked team for the first time since 2008, when then-No. 8 Duke beat them 97-54.

Duke: The trickle-down of Jefferson’s absence led to more significant playing time for Jeter, a 6-foot-10 freshman who occupied the last spot in the seven-man rotation. He had two points while playing a season-high 17 minutes.

UP NEXT

Georgia Southern plays host to Winthrop on Saturday.

Duke plays Utah on Saturday in New York.

Follow Joedy McCreary at http://twitter.com/joedyap. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/joedy-mccreary

AP college basketball site: http://collegebasketball.ap.org