No. 1 Duke produces better effort vs. Furman
DURHAM, N.C. — That was more like it for top-ranked Duke.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski said that the Blue Devils looked smoother than a few nights earlier, and it showed in a 92-63 victory over Furman on Monday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“It was more play like we’re supposed to play,” Krzyzewski said. “We were good tonight. We can be better.”
But the scheme didn’t change much with the emphasis on pushing the ball inside.
Marvin Bagley III led Duke in scoring again with 24 points.
“Nights like this we’re going to go inside,” Duke guard Grayson Allen said. “The bigs take care of business.”
Trevon Duval’s 18 points and Wendell Carter Jr.’s 14 points also bolstered Duke (5-0), which heads to the West Coast for three games later in the week.
Alex O’Connell, a Duke freshman guard who only played in the second half, racked up 10 points.
Bagley, a freshman forward, has topped the Blue Devils in scoring in three games this season. He made 9 of 15 shots from the field Monday, and Duval was 9 of 12.
“I took what the defense gave me, and I could get to the basket,” Duval said.
Duke shot 60.9 percent from the field, dominating the lane.
“When we went to Marvin on about four straight exchanges, he scored on all of them,” Krzyzewski said of a first-half stretch.
The Blue Devils have won four times at home this season, each time by at least 17 points. Yet they weren’t thrilled after a 78-61 victory over Southern on Friday night.
“We had some good practices,” Krzyzewski said of the time since Friday. “Our guys followed the game plan very well.”
John Davis scored 15 points, Matt Rafferty had 11 points and Devin Sibley added 10 points for Furman (2-2), which has lost back-to-back games in a three-day period.
Furman coach Bob Richey said contending with Duke’s size across the frontcourt was too much.
“That’s definitely as big as I’ve seen. The amount of youth is incredible,” Richey said. “I thought our guys played hard, but the amount of size we gave up down there was (too much).”
The Paladins averaged 12.1 baskets from 3-point range entering the game but were 9 of 29 from long range on Monday after going 2 of 11 in the first half.
Other areas went better for Furman.
“To have only 13 turnovers against the best pressure we’ll see all year was a testament to our team,” Richey said. “We struggled to finish. If we could have finished some of them at the rim, we probably could have avoided that run (late in the first half).”
Duke took off across the last nine minutes of the first half for a 49-31 lead at the break. That was the most points in an opening half for the Blue Devils this season, aided by 59.3 percent shooting from the field.
Furman’s 13-8 lead was gone in a flash, but the Paladins recovered to pull within 19-18 more than midway through the first half.
Then came Duke’s 17-4 run, with Furman’s only field goal during the stretch coming on Bagley’s inadvertent tip-in.
NOTES: The start was delayed 15 minutes because a fire alarm went off more than an hour before scheduled tip-off, causing the evacuation of the building. ... Duke leads the series 8-1, winning the past four meetings. ... Both teams are preseason favorites in their conferences based on media polls, Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference and Furman in the Southern Conference. ... This game was an on-campus matchup as part of the PK80. ... Duke heads to Portland, Ore., for three more games in the PK80, beginning with Thursday’s matchup with Portland State. ... Furman is back in action Friday and Saturday against New Hampshire and Northeastern, respectively, in Nashville, Tenn., in PK80 off-site matchups.