RJ Barrett pumped in 27 points and pulled down 15 rebounds as third-ranked Duke eventually overwhelmed Hartford in an 84-54 victory Wednesday night at Durham, N.C.
Zion Williamson, despite missing a couple of dunks, poured in 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Duke (8-1). He also added a few rim-jarring jams and supplied a late-game flip off the backboard so Barrett, his freshman classmate, could dunk.
J.R Lynch’s 13 points and Jason Dunne’s 12 points paced Hartford (3-7), which couldn’t overcome 21 turnovers and lost for the third time this season by double digits.
Hartford kept the margin in single digits deep into the second half, but the Hawks didn’t have an answer for Duke’s transition offense.
Duke, which has won three games in a row, struggled from the perimeter, making only 5 of 26 shots from 3-point range. However, Barrett was 3-for-4 from long range and 10-for-14 overall from the floor.
Tre Jones and Javin DeLaurier each added 10 points for the Blue Devils. DeLaurier had five blocked shots for the nation’s leading team in that category. Duke finished with 10 rejections.
Hartford starting post player John Carroll picked up his fourth foul with a charge at the offensive end with 15:55 to play. The team’s scoring leader exited for good on another offensive foul with 13:51 left.
It was a season-low first-half point total for Duke when the teams went to halftime with the Blue Devils holding a 33-24 advantage.
Duke was 3-for-16 on 3-point launches in the first half. The Blue Devils took only two free throws by halftime.
Duke built a 12-2 lead across the first nine minutes.
Barrett had 10 points as the Blue Devils held a 26-18 edge. At the time, the rest of the team was a combined 0-for-11 on 3-point attempts — and then Jack White drained a trey from the right corner.
This was the first-ever meeting between Duke and Hartford. The Hawks hadn’t faced a Top 10 team since losing to then-No. 3 Louisville in November 2013.
—Field Level Media