After putting on a show at Countdown to Craziness a week ago, the Blue Devils have not disappointed in their season debut. 

Duke used a 10-0 run midway through the first half to pull away from Northwest Missouri State and lead the Bearcats 56-30 at the half. The backcourt tandem of Grayson Allen and Gary Trent Jr. combined for 27 points on 12-of-18 shooting to lead the way for the Blue Devils. Wendell Carter Jr. added 10 points as well, capped by a dunk in the final second.  

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski opted to start four freshmen around Allen to open the season, and the team’s youth showed with a pair of early turnovers by Marvin Bagley III. As Duke looked to find its rhythm on offense, the Blue Devil defense was strong from the get-go and forced Northwest Missouri State to miss 15 of its first 18 shot attempts. 

Following a season of injury and frustration, Allen resembled more of the player Duke fans saw sophomore year. The senior finished the half with 17 points and hit three triples after shooting only 36.5 percent from beyond the arc a year ago. 

With Allen making plays on the perimeter and Bagley III imposing his presence on the interior, Trent Jr. found himself with space to operate on the wings. The freshman put his smooth stroke on display and connected on five of his six shots. 

The Blue Devils defense remained stout throughout the first half and held the Bearcats to 28.9 percent shooting. Although Northwest Missouri hit five triples, it could not keep up with Duke's offensive tempo.