Duke routs Elon in final pre-ACC season tuneup
Duke passed its final pre-ACC test with ease New Year's Eve, downing Elon 86-48 at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The No. 7 Blue Devils (11-2) were led by Andre Dawkins’ 15 points as they got ready for their ACC opener at Notre Dame on Saturday.
Dawkins hit hit first four shots, all 3s, in the first half and then added another long-range jumper in the second half to finish 5 of 7 in the game.
“When the first one goes in, you want to see how far this can go,” Dawkins said. “It’s easy when you have teammates that do what they do. All I’ve got to do is catch the ball and shoot it.”
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Dawkins’ game is rounding back nicely into form after he missed last season for personal reasons.
“Andre has been terrific,” Krzyzewski said. “You have to remember he did not play for a whole year. It’s not like he was out and practicing. He did not play basketball for a whole year. He’s been a great teammate, a really good leader and obviously a really good player for us.
Four other Blue Devils reached double figures, including Jabari Parker (12), Rodney Hood (13), Quinn Cook (11) and Rasheed Sulaimon (11).
“It was definitely a team effort,” Dawkins said. “We didn’t know who was scoring. We just knew we were putting points up and everyone was working together. It was fun.”
Elon (7-7) entered the game with back-to-back wins but the Phoenix could never find a rhythm according to Phoenix coach Matt Matheny.
“I wish we would have played better but I’m not sure if playing better would have been enough because Duke was really, really good,” Matheny said. “Two things stand out — Dawkins’ 3s are daggers and their defense. We struggled to get into our offense. We got no rhythm and got no flow.”
Elon proved to be turnover prone against Duke. The Blue Devils took advantage of 12 turnovers by Elon in the first 20 minutes to build a 35-18 halftime lead. They finished with 22 in the game, which was three more than they had field goals (19).
Dawkins said it was the best the Blue Devils have played on defense so far.
“We really paid attention to their favorite plays and we were right on top of it all night,” Dawkins said. “It was a good job of preparing and a good job of executing.”
It showed as the Phoenix shot 35.2 percent (19 of 54) in the game and was held to its lowest point total of the season.
“Holding them down to 40-some points was really exceptional,” said Parker, who also grabbed 10 rebounds to match his career high for the third time. “Our defense turned into offense and that got us through.”
Elon came into the game shooting almost 50 percent from the floor even with a team that shoots a lot of 3s. Duke held Elon to five 3s on 21 attempts. Elon had made at least 10 3s seven times this season.
“It felt good for us to go out there and get stops like that and stop a team from doing what they wanted to do,” Dawkins said. “We knew they wanted to shoot a lot of 3s and we were able to keep them off the line really good.”
The Phoenix also committed more fouls (22) than they had field goals. It allowed the Blue Devils to get to the free throw line 23 times, but they made only 12.
The Blue Devils were offensively efficient against Elon, shooting a touch under 50 percent (32 of 66) and were 10 of 19 from behind the arc. Duke turned the ball over only three times in the first half and seven times overall.
Duke’s size advantage also was a factor as the Blue Devils dominated in the paint, outscoring Elon 16-6 inside in the first half.
NOTES — The Blue Devils drew two charging fouls in the first half against point guard Austin Hamilton. ... Duke forced a season-high 22 turnovers by Elon. ... Krzyzewski improved to 53-2 against teams from the Southern Conference, including the last 53 in a row. ... The Blue Devils hit at least 10 3s for the sixth time this season
|No. 7 DUKE 86, ELON 48|
Percentages: FG .485, FT .522.
3-Point Goals: 10-19, .526 (Dawkins 5-7, Cook 2-6, Thornton 1-1, Hood 1-1, Sulaimon 1-1, Parker 0-1, Jones 0-1, Ojeleye 0-1).
Team Rebounds: 3.
Blocked Shots: 5 (Dawkins, Hairston, Parker, Jefferson, Plumlee).
Turnovers: 7 (Hood 2, Hairston 2, Sulaimon, Dawkins, Plumlee).
Steals: 12 (Parker 3, Cook 3, Thornton 2, Jefferson, Jones, Plumlee, Hood).
Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .352, FT .714.
3-Point Goals: 5-21, .238 (Isenbarger 2-5, Hairston 1-1, Beaumont 1-3, Samson 1-6, Hamilton 0-1, Eddy 0-1, Koch 0-4).
Team Rebounds: 3.
Blocked Shots: 2 (Troutman 2).
Turnovers: 22 (Koch 5, Troutman 4, Eddy 3, Isenbarger 3, Hamilton 3, Samson, Hairston, Beaumont).
Steals: 3 (Koch, Hairston, Winters).
Technical Fouls: Sabato.
Officials_Gary Maxwell, Tim Gattis, Dwayne Gladden.