HALFTIME: Duke 71, St. Francis 34

Yet to break 100 points so far this season, the Blue Devils have set themselves up nicely to quickly surpass triple digits. 

After Trevon Duval missed the team’s first shot of the game, Duke hardly missed again, utilizing its notable size advantage to win almost every 50-50 rebound and taking a 71-34 lead at halftime against St. Francis. The Blue Devils came up one point short of the program record for points in a half of 72 after Javin DeLaurier missed a jumper in the final second.

Freshman Marvin Bagley III paced Duke with 17 points, and the Blue Devils' 57.8 percent field goal percentage neared its impressive 62.2 percent mark set against South Dakota last Saturday.

Head Coach Mike Krzyzyewski turned to his bench early, as Duke’s lead stretched to double digits after just three minutes. Nine different players saw action in the first half for Duke, with players like Javin DeLaurier and Marques Bolden in particular able to take advantage of their athleticism and size against a significantly overmatched Red Flash team.

With just more than 13 minutes to play, Bolden grabbed two of his own missed shots before slamming the third one home. That offensive sequence epitomized much of the first half for the Red Flash, who, with only one taller than 6-foot-6, were unable to box out any of the charging Blue Devils hungry for another offensive board. Four different Blue Devils amassed at least four rebounds in the first half. 

Eight different Duke players scored in the first half—a number that should increase as Krzyzewski reaches deeper into his bench.  

Here are some observations from the first half:

  • Marques Bolden turned in arguably his strongest half of the season, registering eight points and six rebounds in just seven minutes. 
  • Despite its size advantage, Duke has not shied away from the 3-point line. Gary Trent Jr. knocked down 4-of-6 shots from deep to add 12 points, and the team is 10-of-16 from beyond the arc.
  • After having trouble with turnovers throughout the season, the Blue Devils have shown tremendous discipline with the ball. One errant pass by Grayson Allen is the team’s only turnover. 
  • Duval and Allen continue to feed Bagley and the big men, as the duo combined for 13 assists in the first half. 
  • Duke’s 11 offensive rebounds have translated into 22 second-chance points, a significant advantage over St. Francis’s two. 

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