ACC

Stetson has already proven to be a bad team. So Duke easily dominated the Hatters.

Duke guard Tre Jones (3) and forward RJ Barrett (5) react after a teammate scores in the second half. Duke defeated Stetson 113-49 at Cameron Indoor Stadium In Durham, N.C. Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018.
Duke guard Tre Jones (3) and forward RJ Barrett (5) react after a teammate scores in the second half. Duke defeated Stetson 113-49 at Cameron Indoor Stadium In Durham, N.C. Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. cliddy@newsobserver.com

At this point, it appears Stetson will be the worst team No. 3 Duke will face this basketball season.

The Blue Devils certainly helped the Hatters live down to their Ken Pomeroy rating of 338 out of 353 Division I teams on Saturday night.

The Blue Devils scored 17 consecutive points with a flurry of steals, layups and dunks during one impressive first-half stretch, building a 34-point halftime lead on the way to a 113-49 nonconference basketball win at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Freshman stars Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish all reached double-figures in scoring over the game’s first 20 minutes.

Nestled within the lopsided win was Barrett’s terrific all-around performance. While playing just 17 minutes in the runaway win, Barrett produced 26 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals.

No Duke player had ever reached 25 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals in a game.

Reddish scored 23 points in 22 minutes, making four of nine 3-pointers along the way. Williamson finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and a team-best five steals in only 18 minutes of play.

Freshman point guard Tre Jones didn’t score while playing only 15 minutes. He did have seven assists to tie Barrett for the team lead.

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Stetson (1-8) saw its losing streak reach eight games. The Hatters only win is a 116-66 decision on Nov. 7 over Johnson (Fla.),a National Christian College Athletics Association Division II team.

No one expected the Hatters to challenge Duke, with its roster full of future NBA players.

The Hatters held tough for nearly five minutes, making 5 of their first 7 shots (71.4 percent) to lead 12-11 with 15:21 left in the first half. Duke had settled for six 3-point attempts already, making just one.

But the Blue Devils (7-1) began to pound the ball inside fire up its transition game by forcing turnovers. That’s when Duke reeled off a 17-0 run to take control.

Williamson started it with a free throw and when he missed the second shot, Javin DeLaurier grabbed an offensive rebound and got the ball to Williamson for a layup.

Williamson then scored inside and on a bank shot. His personal scoring run of seven points was interrupted by a DeLaurier dunk and Reddish added two free throws after being fouled on a fast break.

In a span of 2:09, Duke had scored 11 consecutive points.

The Blue Devils weren’t done.

A pair of Jordan Goldwire layups and Marques Bolden’s dunk in transition pushed Duke’s lead to 28-12.

The Blue Devils shot 59.5 percent in the first half to take complete control, making nine dunks and eight layups.

Duke finished at 57.7 percent from the field, a season high. Duke’s previous best shooting percentage was 54.4 percent while blasting Kentucky 118-84 on Nov. 6.

Even Duke reserves Alex O’Connell (13 points), Justin Robinson (13 points) and DeLaurier (10 points) reached double-figures in scoring.

Stetson shot 32 percent and committed 27 turnovers.

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An Illinois native, Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer. Prior to his arrival in Durham, he worked for newspapers in Columbia and Spartanburg, S.C., Biloxi, Miss., and Charlotte covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the S.C. General Assembly.


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