Coming off a sluggish performance in their last game against Southern, the Blue Devils responded with a resounding victory to start a busy week.

No. 1 Duke eased past Furman 92-63 Monday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium in its on-campus matchup as part of the PK80. The Blue Devils struggled to string together positive possessions early and even trailed at the second media timeout, but blew the game wide open with a 20-6 run midway through the first half thanks largely to freshman Marvin Bagley III who scored 11 points in just more than two minutes as part of the run. 

“We beat a good team tonight,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “I really respect what their program has done. They know how to play. They are a very difficult team to defend and those three seniors have really played a lot of ball together."

The Blue Devils (5-0) looked out of sorts to begin the game, allowing easy dribble-penetration baskets and failing to move the ball on offense, often resorting to isolation plays. The Paladins also came out hot from the field, and for the first 10 minutes, it looked like Duke might be in for an another unexpectedly tough game. 

Freshman Wendell Carter Jr. was the lone bright spot during this stretch, as he scored 10 early points to carry the Blue Devils offensively as the rest of the team struggled to find a rhythm. Carter was also a force on the glass, coming away with several offensive rebounds and laying them back up for easy buckets on his way to 14 points for the game. 

“That’s something that I do every game,” Carter said. “I love to crash the glass. That’s a big-time play in basketball, getting an offensive board and getting an and-one or getting another two points. It defeats the defense, so that’s something I like to do.”

But Bagley stole the show as Duke pulled away, showcasing his full arsenal of offensive moves that made the Phoenix native such a highly sought-after recruit. He faced up a defender, spun around him and finished with a spectacular dunk, then flashed his range shortly after by knocking down a triple. The 6-foot-11 freshman finished the night with 24 points and eight rebounds.

“It was a time in the game when I kept hitting and my teammates kept finding me,” Bagley said. “They kept coming back to me and they believed in me enough to keep going and keep pushing and I executed on those plays. It was one of those moments of the game when I got hot, and I feel like we kind of got going after that.

The Blue Devil backcourt was carried by freshman Trevon Duval offensively as Grayson Allen was largely held in check, finishing with just five points and not scoring his first basket until the five-minute mark of the first half. The senior shot just 2-of-9 from the field as he frequently created open looks, but couldn’t convert them into points. 

Duke also dominated Furman (2-2) inside, finishing with an 64-28 advantage in points in the paint, unsurprising considering the Paladins boast just two players 6-foot-8 or taller. Blue Devil head coach Mike Kryzyewski frequently rolled out lineups featuring Bagley, Carter and sophomore Javin DeLaurier, all of whom stand at least 6-foot-10. 

“We know that their bigs aren’t technically bigs, they’re more guards,” Carter said. “Whenever we see mismatches from the point guard to the center, we’re always going to find them and exploit them.”

The second half was mostly uneventful as the hosts steadily increased their lead, mainly with interior dominance. Duke went 5-of-17 from beyond the arc for the game—Allen, usually their only consistent outside threat, could not find his touch and shot just 1-of-4 from distance. 

The Blue Devils will travel out West for their next three games as they continue play in the PK80 on Thursday when they take on Portland State in Portland, Ore., and then either face Butler or Texas on Friday.

"It will be an honor to out there," Krzyzewski said. "Hopefully, we play well."