The Duke men’s basketball team opened the NIT Season Tip-Off at Cameron Indoor Stadium as the number six team in the country in the latest polls. They blew away visiting UNC-Asheville from the beginning with a 91-55 victory. The Blue Devils held a twenty point halftime lead and UNC-Asheville could not get any closer.
With the big lead, the Cameron Crazies got their wish, for Todd Zafirovski to play the final thirty seconds.
Jabari Parker recorded his second straight double-double. He scored 21 points and hauled in ten rebounds. He dished out four assists, but on the down side, committed six turnovers. Rodney Hood scored 18 points, though he scored 15 points in the first half on 6-of-8 shooting. He did not take a shot in the second half.
Those were the expected contributors.
Freshman Semi Ojeleye may have earned himself alot more playing time after tonight. He scored ten points on a perfect night shooting (3-for-3 from the field). He also hauled in five rebounds.
Andre Dawkins may also see more playing time now that he is thoroughly enjoying himself on the court again. He scored 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting. Quinn Cook had a solid showing, as he dished out five assists compared to just one turnover. He also scored ten points on 4-of-8 shooting.
Duke out-rebounded UNC-Asheville 42-28, with both teams hauling in 13 offensive boards. The Blue Devils shot 57.4% and made 10-of-23 three pointers. They collected 18 assists on 31 made field goals.
Everyone talks about the explosive up-and-down offense Duke now possesses, but they also play pretty good defense. They held Andrew Rowsey, who was averaging 19.7 points per game, to just two points on 1-of-7 shooting. The Blue Devils also forced 15 turnovers. UNC-Asheville shot 33.3% from the field and only made 4-of-14 three pointers.
On the negative side, Duke committed 15 turnovers. They also only made 19-of-26 free throws.
For UNC-Asheville, David Robertson scored 12 points off the bench. Sam Hughes was their leading scorer with 16 points.
Duke will continue play in the NIT on Tuesday night at Cameron. They will face East Carolina, who defeated Norfolk State by two points (76-74). Norfolk State had a 15 point lead with a little over six minutes left in the game (67-52). They did not score again until ECU had taken the lead with 2:38 to go.