EditorsNote: Minor changes throughout
R.J. Barrett scored 20 points to lead five Blue Devils in double-figure scoring as No. 1 Duke opened play in the Maui Invitational by drubbing San Diego State 90-64 on Monday in Lahaina, Hawaii.
Duke’s top four scorers were freshmen, with Cam Reddish posting 16 points, Tre Jones tallying 14 points and Zion Williamson supplying 13 points. Each of them made at least one 3-point basket.
Reddish, who sat out the second half of a game last week because of general soreness, was clicking pretty much from the get-go. Jack White added 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds for the Blue Devils, who have won all four games this season by double-digit margins.
Duke (4-0) faces No. 8 Auburn, an 88-79 overtime winner against Xavier in the first game, in Tuesday’s semifinal round. San Diego State (2-1) takes on the Musketeers in the consolation bracket.
Devin Watson’s 15 points and Jeremy Hemsley’s 12 points led San Diego State, which is winless in three all-time meetings with Duke. Matt Mitchell, who was held to two second-half points, and Jalen McDaniels both chipped in 11 points.
A Williamson dunk capped an 8-0 spurt as the Blue Devils built a 71-44 lead less than 6 1/2 minutes into the second half.
Duke led 49-32 at halftime, with Barrett posting 16 points by the break.
The Blue Devils backed off on some of their perimeter shooting in the second half after they had established a comfortable lead.
Duke put together an early 11-0 run and shortly after held a 26-13 lead, aided by 6-for-8 shooting on 3-pointers. That helped make up for some first-half foul trouble.
The Blue Devils ended up with nine first-half 3-pointers, including two from White, a reserve swingman.
Duke is undefeated in 16 games on the island in the Maui Invitational. The Blue Devils have five titles in the tournament, and this marks the third time they have arrived with the No. 1 national ranking.
San Diego State had reached the finals of its last six regular-season tournaments, but the Aztecs have been sent to the consolation bracket for the rest of this event.
—Field Level Media