DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Grayson Allen finally found some open lanes to the basket, and he burst through them. All those drives added up to the highest-scoring game of his career.
Allen scored 24 of his 33 points in the second half to lead No. 15 Duke past Long Beach State 103-81 on Wednesday.
“I just started to see it as the game was going by, and coach wanted us to be more active on offense when we were attacking the zone,” Allen said. “I just saw lanes to drive out there, and as the game went on, I was able to see them quicker and more often.”
Matt Jones added 21 points, Derryck Thornton had 18 and Brandon Ingram finished with 14 in the final nonconference game for the Blue Devils (11-2).
They overcame some poor early shooting from 3-point range by shooting 65.6 percent in the second half, hitting 28 of 32 free throws and pulling away with a 25-6 run that bridged the halves.
A.J. Spencer scored 20 points and Noah Blackwell had career highs of 19 points and four 3-pointers for the 49ers (6-9).
Their zone defense helped them lead for almost 15 minutes in the first half, and they finished with a 42-31 rebounding advantage. But the 49ers had 18 turnovers that Duke turned into 24 points.
“We could not control them on the offensive end,” 49ers coach Dan Monson said. “It’s embarrassing to give up 100 points to anybody.”
Allen was 8 of 15 from the field and kept drawing contact and getting to the foul line, hitting 15 of 17 from there while surpassing his previous career-best of 32 points set against Georgetown last month in New York.
“I still think Grayson could play better. But he obviously was a godsend today, or else we had a chance to lose the game,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “He has the ability to draw fouls in addition to shooting and scoring. You have a greater chance of putting up a lot of points if you get to the free-throw line.”
He helped Duke flip a six-point deficit into a double-figure lead with the big run that started late in the first half and ended in the second.
The Blue Devils hit 11 of 12 free throws during a 2 1/2-minute stretch early in the burst before Allen dunked on Spencer and Thornton capped the run with a contested jumper that made it 51-38 with 17 1/2 minutes to play.
PLAY OF THE DAY
The Cameron Crazies chanted Marshall Plumlee’s name after he came up huge at both ends of the floor in the span of a few seconds. His authoritative behind-the-head dunk gave Duke its largest lead to that point – 70-55 – with about 11 1/2 minutes left, and then he swatted Roschon Prince’s shot to bring the fans to their feet.
After scoring 70 points in the first half against Elon, Duke put up 61 in the second half against Long Beach State. “We have good scorers, and if we’re ready and play off one another, we have the ability to put points up,” Krzyzewski said.
Long Beach State: Maryland transfer Nick Faust finished with 10 points in his first game at Cameron Indoor Stadium since February 2014, when Duke beat the Terrapins 69-67 on a missed hook shot at the buzzer by Maryland. In three visits with the Terps – all losses – Faust averaged 10.3 points.
Duke: The Blue Devils, who shoot 39 percent from 3-point range, made just three of their first 12 attempts from long range in the first half before hitting 8 of 15 in the second. … Duke is 11-0 when scoring at least 79 points and 0-2 when scoring 75 or fewer.
Long Beach State: Plays at California State-Northridge on Jan. 6.
Duke: Plays at Boston College on Saturday.
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