DURHAM, N.C. (AP) No. 5 Duke got together for a team meeting to talk about the flaws in its lopsided season-opening victory.
Then the Blue Devils came out for Game 2 and managed an even bigger rout.
Grayson Allen had a career-high 28 points, Matt Jones scored all of his career-best 19 in the first half, and Duke beat Bryant 113-75 on Saturday night in the 2K Classic.
“We still have to learn from winning,” Allen said, “so we don’t have to lose just to learn.”
Freshman Brandon Ingram had 21 points to help the Blue Devils (2-0) earn their second lopsided win in as many nights.
Amile Jefferson had 11 points and 11 rebounds in his second straight double-double, and freshman Luke Kennard added 11 points for the reigning national champions.
They never trailed, shot 53 percent, hit 13 3-pointers, forced 19 turnovers and turned them into 24 points.
Things almost certainly won’t be this easy next time for Duke: the Blue Devils play No. 2 Kentucky on Tuesday night in the Champions Classic in Chicago.
They picked up easy wins against Siena and Bryant on consecutive nights to start the season, trailing for a total of 10 seconds so far. But Duke admitted it wasn’t at its best against the Saints, and coach Mike Krzyzewski said the team “had a tough feedback tape for about an hour” earlier Saturday morning.
“Our freshmen, I thought, played with much better enthusiasm and more decisiveness than they did” against Siena, Krzyzewski said.
He’ll need even more from them next week: After facing Kentucky, Duke will play Virginia Commonwealth and either No. 17 Wisconsin or Georgetown next weekend in Madison Square Garden.
Jones finished 7 of 9 from the field, hit five of Duke’s eight 3-pointers in the first half, had his career high by the break and only played 3 minutes in the second half as a precaution, Krzyzewski said.
Jones dealt with a groin injury in the preseason. His previous high of 17 points was set against Wake Forest last March in the home finale.
A role player on the team that captured the program’s fifth national title last spring, Jones has become a key scoring threat on a new-look Duke team that lost three freshmen to the first round of the NBA draft and needs its perimeter to provide the scoring punch.
This one certainly didn’t require much effort.
Three players – Jones, Allen and Ingram – cracked double figures by halftime. The Blue Devils scored on 14 of 15 possessions midway through the half to push the lead into double figures to stay, then took a 20-point lead on Allen’s free throw with 2:09 left in the half.
Hunter Ware scored a career-high 24 points to lead Bryant (0-1).
“To be able to score 75 points against a team the caliber of Duke is a good sign for us,” coach Tim O’Shea said.
Ingram, the biggest name in Duke’s freshman class, finished 7 of 11 from the field and hit four 3-pointers. A night earlier, he shot just 5 of 16 and was 1 of 9 from beyond the arc. “I don’t fault him for (Friday) night,” Krzyzewski said. “You’ve got to learn. A shot fake is a good thing.”
The Blue Devils pushed their winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium against nonconference opponents to 118. They have also won 110 in a row at home against unranked non-ACC opponents.
Bryant: The Bulldogs are 1-9 against Atlantic Coast Conference schools with their only win coming against Boston College in 2012-13. They did play Pittsburgh tough in a 72-67 loss on Feb. 2.
Duke: Allen reached 20 points for the second straight night. He had 26 against Siena, and his previous best of 27 – set against Wake Forest last year – was his only other 20-point game.
Bryant: Hosts Emerson on Wednesday.
Duke: Plays No. 2 Kentucky on Tuesday in Chicago.
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