Matt Jones

AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Duke’s Matt Jones sidelined with sprained ankle

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Already limited in numbers, No. 20 Duke took another personnel hit in the form of junior guard Matt Jones.

Friday afternoon the program announced that Jones will miss the Blue Devils’ game at No. 18 Louisville as a result of a sprained left ankle suffered in their win at No. 5 North Carolina Wednesday night. Jones played just nine minutes as a result of the injury, with freshman Luke Kennard absorbing many of those minutes in his sixth man role.

Without Jones, Kennard in all likelihood will move into the starting lineup as Duke doesn’t have another option.

Jones joins power forward Amile Jefferson on the sideline for head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Jefferson’s absence has limited the team’s front court depth, as neither freshman Chase Jeter nor Rice transfer Sean Obi have been able to show that they’re capable of handling extended minutes.

Duke has more talent on the perimeter, but losing Jones means that Duke now lacks an option to get their key options a moment of rest during the course of a game. That shouldn’t change much offensively, but it will impact how Duke plays on the defensive end as avoiding foul trouble becomes even more important.

No. 15 Duke beats Boston College 81-64 in ACC opener

Associated Press
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BOSTON (AP) Grayson Allen intercepted a pass and went in for a dunk so emphatic that the ball, after passing through the net, bounced off his head and wound up a half-dozen rows back in the stands.

The Duke guard fell to the court with a thud.

“(He’s) powerful, and then he’s fearless. So he goes with a little bit of a reckless abandon,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the 15th-ranked Blue Devils beat Boston College 81-64 in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.

“He usually is either knocked to the floor or he falls to the floor because of those Herculean plays that he makes,” Krzyzewski said.

Allen does the same thing in practice, but his coach doesn’t dare tell him to take it easy.

“I think you have a greater chance of getting hurt by tempering your natural instincts,” Krzyzewski said.

Allen had 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Blue Devils (12-2), and Brandon Ingram finished with 25 points and nine rebounds. Duke fell behind by six points early in its first true road game of the season before scoring 20 of the next 25 points.

“I think we had a little bit of nervousness at the beginning,” Allen said. “But first time playing on someone’s home court, first ACC game, that’s expected.”

Luke Kennard added 17 points, and Matt Jones had 16 to help Duke beat BC for the 10th consecutive time.

Eli Carter scored 19 points for Boston College (7-7, 0-1), and Jerome Robinson had 15 points and seven rebounds.

BC led 12-6 with 7 minutes gone in the game before Derryck Thornton made a jumper on an assist from Allen and then Jones made a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one point. Allen then stole the ball from Robinson and took it in for a dunk to give Duke its first lead of the game.

Allen was slow to get up after landing hard among the media sitting courtside.

It was 18-17 Duke before the Blue Devils made eight consecutive free throws. Duke scored the last five points of the first half to take a 37-24 lead.

The Eagles ran off 10 straight points in the second half to cut a 21-point deficit to 57-46. But after Duke called timeout, Allen hit a free throw and then had another steal that led to a three-point play.

GOING STREAKING

Ingram was one point off his career high. He entered the game averaging 21.3 points and 8.2 rebounds in his past six games. The 6-foot-9, 190-pound forward has topped the 20-point mark and led the Blue Devils in five of the past seven games.

One of seven freshmen on the roster, Ingram got his first taste of an ACC road game.

“It felt very different,” he said. “We knew it was a hostile environment coming in here. It was our first ACC game, so we knew we had to play our hardest.”

COMPLIMENTARY K

Krzyzewski took time out during the postgame handshakes to praise BC center Dennis Clifford, who played limited minutes as a sophomore and then missed almost his entire junior year because of damage to the cartilage in both knees.

“I can remember coming up here a few years ago, and Clifford could hardly walk,” Krzyzewski said. “He must have done a lot of stuff, because he moves well. I admire that, that kids’ commitment, and his commitment to BC.”

Clifford said he hears that from other coaches often, but it’s a nice compliment from a basketball Hall of Famer.

“I appreciate every time somebody shouts me out because of all I’ve been through,” Clifford said.

TIP-INS

Duke: The Blue Devils improved to 19-2 against BC. … Duke is 28-8 in ACC openers under Krzyzewski. … The Blue Devils made just 3 of 13 attempts from 3-point range in the first half. … Duke is 19-0 when Allen scores in double figures since the start of last season.

Boston College: BC last beat Duke on Feb. 15, 2009, when the Blue Devils were ranked sixth in The Associated Press’ Top 25.

UP NEXT

Duke: at Wake Forest on Wednesday night.

Boston College: hosts Notre Dame on Thursday night.

Allen scores career-best 33, No. 15 Duke beats 49ers 103-81

Associated Press
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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.

STAT WATCH

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.

TIP-INS

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.

UP NEXT

Long Beach State: Plays at California State-Northridge on Jan. 6.

Duke: Plays at Boston College on Saturday.

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