HALFTIME: Duke 42, Southern 32

With Marvin Bagley III back on the floor, No. 1 Duke utilized a deep bench and recovered from a slow start to lead Southern 42-32 after the first half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. 

The Blue Devils struggled with turnovers, with nine giveaways compared to Southern’s five, and allowed the Jaguars to go on a 7-0 run until Bagley ended it by with a pair of free throws. Duke began to hit a rhythm and take the lead after Southern tied the game up twice, as Gary Trent Jr. hit a three and then Bagley swatted the ball down the floor for Allen to score his first points of the game on a layup. Those plays started a 10-0 run to break a 27-27 deadlock.

Right from the start, Bagley and freshman Wendell Carter Jr. found each other for a quick dunk and continued to lead the Blue Devils from that point on. Carter got a block, grabbed the rebound and then hit a triple on the other side of the court all in a row in the early going. 

Bagley did not show much rust despite an injury to his eye that kept him out of most of Tuesday's Michigan State game, scoring 7 points on 3-for-3 shooting from the field in the first five minutes. Through the first 10 minutes of the game, Carter and Bagley accounted for all 19 Blue Devil points, and they finished the half with 26.

Duke continued its focus on offensive rebounding that was present in Tuesday’s game, with Grayson Allen getting his own rebound and lobbing the ball up to Bagley for a dunk. But the senior captain struggled to find his shot in the first half, remaining scoreless through the first 15 minutes.

Here are a few observations from the first half:

  • Duke freshmen dominated play in the first half, accounting for all but four of its first half points.
  • Duke had six turnovers in the first nine minutes, and head coach Mike Krzyzewski had to call an early timeout to settle his team.
  • Southern couldn’t stay out of foul trouble, but the Blue Devils strugglee to hit free throws, going 12-of-21 from the line in the first half.

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