HALFTIME: Duke 36, Temple 26

NEW YORK—It was a sloppy first half for both teams Friday night at the Barclays Center, but the Blue Devils' persistence on the boards allowed No. 4 Duke to take a 36-26 lead into the locker room.

The Blue Devils struggled mightily from the floor, shooting 30.8 percent and 27.3 percent from beyond the arc. Luckily for Duke, the Owls had equal trouble getting the ball in the hole, making just 10 of their 29 field goals in the half.

Duke utilized a very balanced scoring effort in the first half. Justise Winslow and Jahlil Okafor led the way with eight points, and three other Blue Devils had at least four points. Temple was led by Quenton DeCosey, who scored six in the period.

Here are some observations from the first half:

  • Jahlil Okafor had trouble scoring early. After hitting his first attempt of the night the big man proceeded to miss his next five shots—as many as he'd missed all season coming into the day. The big man finished the half just 3-of-13 from the field... Read more

The key three: Duke basketball vs. Temple

Coming off a solid win against Michigan State, Duke heads to Brooklyn, N.Y., for a match up against Temple in the semifinals of the Coaches v. Cancer Classic at the Barclays Center. Tipoff is at 9:30 p.m. Friday. Three things that Duke will need to do to avoid the upset:

Hit the glass

The sample size is small for the season so far, but, at times, Temple has had issues scoring. However, the Owls make up for a lack of scoring by boxing out and collecting rebounds. Three games into the season, the Blue Devils have struggled rebounding the basketball.

Duke was outrebounded by the smaller Michigan State Spartans 35-25 and gave up a whopping 13 offensive rebounds resulting in 11 second-chance points for Michigan State Tuesday. With the Owls' scoring issues, the Blue Devils, particularly interior players Jahlil Okafor and Amile Jefferson, will need to make sure they do not allow Temple to have any second chances. Duke's inability to close out possessions with rebounds allowed the Spartans to hang around and nearly make a big run late in the game... Read more

Duke football assistant slams chair during epic pregame speech

Before Duke's Thursday night tilt against North Carolina, the Blue Devils received a rowdy pregame speech from graduate assistant Chris Hoover. As evidenced by the video below, some equipment—specifically a folding chair—was indeed harmed in the filming of the pep talk (start video at :09).

Hoover, a former walk-on linebacker, did not see game action in three years with the Blue Devils. If he tackles with the same ferocity with which he slams chairs, Duke's opponents from the past few seasons may be breathing a sigh of relief.

Hoover also got the Blue Devils fired up when he was still on the team before the Belk Bowl in 2012.

Whenever furniture flies, it's only appropriate to pay tribute to the master of the art form, former Indiana basketball coach Bob Knight... Read more

X factor: Duke basketball vs. Temple

Duke will take on Temple Friday at 9:30 p.m. in the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., for its fourth game in a week. Before every game, we'll break down a player from each team who could be the difference in the upcoming contest:

Duke: guard Grayson Allen

Averaging 9.0 points in just 10.7 minutes per game and leading the team in steals at five, Grayson Allen is a difference maker on Duke's bench. Allen shined alongside the other freshmen in the Blue Devil's season opener against Presbyterian, scoring 18 points in his 18 minutes. But despite his stellar first game, the Jacksonville, Fla. native has struggled to find a rhythm lately.

In the Blue Devils' 81-71 win against Michigan State, Allen was unable to capitalize off the bench, took an awful shot and was sent back to the bench after a minute.The entire bench only produced seven points Tuesday, so Allen and the entire unit have something to prove Friday... Read more

Jabari Parker visits Duke basketball during practice at private Jordan facility Terminal 23 in New York

Another day, another visit from a rising NBA star.

Two days after Pacers star Paul George visited Duke in the locker room after its 81-71 win against Michigan State in the Champions Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Bucks rookie Jabari Parker visited the team at its Thursday practice in New York City at Terminal 23, a private Jordan facility near Madison Square Garden.

Parker averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game last year en route to racking up All-American honors as a freshman at Duke before being selected with the No. 2 overall pick in June's NBA draft... Read more

Making the Grade: Duke football vs. North Carolina

The Blue Devils' first Thursday-night home game in 20 years didn't end up the way they dreamed it would.

A pair of fumbles on Duke's first two possessions spelled disaster for the Blue Devils and foreshadowed a long night to come, as North Carolina controlled all aspects of the game in a 45-20 drubbing that took Duke out of the running for the ACC Coastal Division crown and spots in the ACC Championship Game and the Orange Bowl.

As the Victory Bell heads back to Chapel Hill for the first time in two seasons, the most important thing the Blue Devils can do is regroup, and quickly. Duke will need to bring its two-game losing streak to a halt Nov. 29 against Wake Forest to build some confidence before readying for its third bowl game in as many years.

Offense: D

Pass: For the second straight game, quarterback Anthony Boone struggled to get in a rhythm, completing just 22 of his 40 pass attempts for 262 yards and an interception. The redshirt senior tossed a pair of scores, but one came in garbage time with the Tar Heels well ahead... Read more

Extra Point: Duke football vs. North Carolina

No. 25 Duke was hyped up before its Tobacco Road showdown with North Carolina Thursday night at Wallace Wade Stadium but fell flat after two early turnovers, falling 45-20. The Blue Devils have now lost two games in a row and have to bounce back quickly after seeing the Coastal Division title slip away.

Revisiting the three keys to the game:

  • Contain Tar Heel quarterback Marquise Williams: The North Carolina signal caller had 21 rushes for 98 yards and two touchdowns against Duke. Needless to say, the Blue Devils failed to contain the quarterback. The junior dual-threat quarterback moved the chains for the Tar Heels several times with quarterback scrambles, but was especially effective on designed run plays... Read more

Halftime Report: North Carolina 28, Duke 7

Playing in their first Thursday night game in 20 years, the Blue Devils have looked lost in the limelight thus far, as they trail the Tar Heels 28-7 after two quarters of play at Wallace Wade Stadium.

Duke seemed to be ready to strike first, as it held the Tar Heels to a three-and-out on their first possession. Senior Jamison Crowder then exploded on the following punt for a 30-yard return to the Tar Heel 44-yard line. The Blue Devils continued their initial push, as redshirt senior quarterback Anthony Boone found Max McCaffrey for a 16-yard completion on third down.

But, just like last week, Duke could not hang onto the ball when it mattered, as it would give the ball right back two plays later when Thomas Sirk fumbled the ball on a second-down run, giving North Carolina the ball at its own 22-yard line.

The Tar Heels would not squander their second possession, driving 78 yards in 3:44, capping the drive with a four-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Marquise Williams to Quinshad Davis... Read more

Behind Enemy Lines: North Carolina

Before every football game this year, The Blue Zone will sit down with a football writer from the opposing school’s student newspaper to get the scoop on their team and season.

This week, The Chronicle’s Nick Martin spoke to the The Daily Tar Heel's sports editor Grace Raynor about Thursday's prime time battle for the Victory Bell between No. 25 Duke and North Carolina.

TC: Hi Grace, thanks for speaking with me today. So North Carolina went through that early season slump, losing four-straight games and everybody went through an all-hope-is-lost phase. But now, they've won three of their last four. And it seems like this has been North Carolina's schtick for the past two years—lose early, win late... Read more

Third and goal: Duke football vs. North Carolina

After an error-filled defeat at the hands of Virginia Tech, Duke is clinging on to the top spot in the Coastal Division as they prepare to play in-state rival North Carolina. The No. 25 Blue Devils can protect their division crown by beating the Tar Heels Thursday and then Wake Forest the week after. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. at Wallace Wade Stadium. Here are the keys to this evening’s game:

Contain Tar Heels quarterback Marquise Williams

The junior signal caller is the heart and soul of the North Carolina offense, accounting for 28 of its 46 touchdowns on the year. He has put up solid stats through the air—with a 63.2 percent completion rate, 18 touchdowns, and 7.32 yards per attempt—but taking off as a runner is where he can cause real problems. Williams has found the endzone 10 times this year and racked up 623 yards with his legs. The Blue Devils' front seven will need to collapse the pocket and make sure to finish plays... Read more