HALFTIME: Duke 48, Utah Valley 33

It did not quite start out as a comfortable coronation for Blue Devil head coach Mike Krzyzewski, but he still appears well on his way to his 1,000th win at Duke.

An 18-3 run midway through the first half has lifted the Blue Devils to a 48-33 lead against Utah Valley through 20 minutes. Duke got steals on three straight Wolverine possessions and scored in transition every time to fuel the run, turning a four-point deficit into a 11-point lead. The freshman trio of Marvin Bagley III,  Wendell Carter Jr. and Gary Trent Jr. has combined for 38 of the Blue Devils' 48 points.

After Utah Valley took a nine-point halftime lead at Kentucky Friday night before fading after the break in its 73-63 loss, it showed no signs of fatigue to start Saturday's contest. The Wolverines have challenged the Blue Devils running up and down the floor, a style Duke expected to be comfortable with entering the season.

Both teams missed seven of their first nine shots, as Blue Devil big men Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. battled opponents their size for the first time of their collegiate careers. Utah Valley's 7-foot veteran Akolda Manyang has been an effective rebounder thus far, coming down with 10 boards. But Carter has returned the favor on the other end with four blocks and two steals to go along with his 12 points, including a 3-pointer, and two assists.

Duke stretched its lead to as many as 15 points, as senior captain Grayson Allen ripped off five straight points near the end of the half to give the Blue Devils momentum entering the break.

Here are a few observations from the first half:

  • Coach K said after Friday's game that Marques Bolden would not be playing against the Wolverines, but the sophomore center suited up and was Duke's second man off the bench.
  • Point guard Trevon Duval picked up two quick fouls in the first 4:19 of the game, and Allen was whistled for his second shortly afterwards, forcing backup point guard Jordan Goldwire into early action.
  • With Duke's lone senior in foul trouble, five freshmen—Bagley, Carter, Goldwire, Trent Jr. and Alex O'Connell—were on the floor for much of the 18-3 run.

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