DURHAM, NC. – The Duke Blue Devils are now 5-0 in 2017-18, after their latest win over the Furman Paladins on Monday night, 92-63.
Duke has suffered from back-to-back slow starts. In their prior game against the Southern University Jaguars, it was caused by the number of turnovers they committed. Last night, the Paladins were making seemingly every shot attempt they had early.
The Paladins started the game shooting 5-for-6 from the field, and they took an early 16-15 lead over the Blue Devils just eight minutes into the game.
The Blue Devils responded with a favourable match-up, as they continued to attack the Paladins through Marvin Bagley III.
Bagley started a 28-10 run late in the first half, when he scored on five of six possessions, assisting on the lone possession he didn’t score. The run was highlighted by Bagley with a spin move in the post leading to a monstrous two-handed flush and capping it off with a rare 3-pointer.
To close off the winding seconds of the first half, the Blue Devils saw a spiking block from Javin DeLaurier, which was followed up with a layup from Trevon Duval to push the Blue Devils lead to 49-31 at half.
The Blue Devils were looking to build on their lead early in the second half. A steal just 15 seconds in led to a dunk from senior guard Grayson Allen. Duval followed that up with a mid-range jumper of his own.
After settling down, the Blue Devils and Paladins went on a stretch that lasted just under 3 minutes, in which neither team could make a shot. This was ended by an uncontested layup from Clay Mounce for the Paladins.
After settling down, the Blue Devils continued to build their lead, and it grew to 26 points with seven minutes left in the game.
Bagley, who reclassified to the 2017 class late in August, was unstoppable on Monday night, finishing with 24 points and eight rebounds. Fellow freshman Duval registered 18 points, on 9-of-12 shooting from the field, to go along with four rebounds and four assists.
The Blue Devils ended the night shooting roughly 61% from the field. They dominated the battle of points scored in the paint, 64-28, led by freshman big men in Bagley and Wendell Carter.
Some areas in which the Blue Devils can improve on is their three-point shooting, as they shot just 29% on Monday. They need to be more active on the defensive glass, as they gave up 13 offensive rebounds to an undersized Furman team.
Duke’s next opponent will be the Portland State Vikings, who are off to an incredible start to their season, with a 4-0 record. This game will be an opening round match-up in the PK80 Invitational Tournament which is to honour Phil Knight, Nike co-founder and University of Texas alumni.
Tip off is scheduled for 4:30 pm ET on Thursday November 23rd at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon
– R. Mohaupt