Duke 84, Saint Louis 47, FINAL:
I was wrong to assume Hairston was done for the day, he come back and sank a three and slammed home a crowd-pleasing dunk, giving him 12 points on the day. Both Casey Peters and Todd Zafirovski both made appearances in the final minute.
We're headed to the locker room now—be sure to keep checking the blog throughout the weekend for the latest on Duke basketball.
Duke 76, Saint Louis 40, 2nd half, 3:14, remaining:
Setting up for an inbounds play, the ref had to come over and settle Singler and Evans. Evans continued to stand about .5 inches from Singler's face and on the break, Singler pushed off him, caught the ball, and swished in the shot. That should put Evans back in his place.
Duke 63, Saint Louis 40, 2nd half, 5:11, remaining:
The freshmen continue to impress. Hairston drew a foul as he went in for the layup. Thorton brought the ball up on the next possession. His defender slipped and he took a few dribbles before finding Smith open for the three. Hairston picked up his fourth foul on the next possession. Singler replaced him, so his final line on the day is 8 points and 3 rebounds. Not too shabby for his first extended appearance in a Duke uniform. Curry drained another three, his third on the day, forcing another Saint Louis timeout.
Duke 63, Saint Louis 33, 2nd half, 7:45, remaining:
This game has started to look like an audition for more playing time. Thorton and Hairston continue to eat minutes. Hairston has seven points. He's pretty passionate on the court as well. When is was whistled for his third foul over by the media row, he looked with pain toward to ref, saying "Ooohhhhh S—." If Duke can start to rely on the freshmen duo for 10 quality minutes a game, it will go a long way toward taking pressure off of Smith.
Duke 57, Saint Louis 29, 2nd half, 9:56, remaining:
With the lineup of Curry Thorton, Hairston, Singler and Kelly, its Hairston and Curry who handle the point duties. On the play that just made Saint Louis call timeout, Thorton threw a leading pass the Curry that looked out of reach, but he caught up to it, stopped, and drained a three. Not too much the Billikens can do about that.
Duke 52, Saint Louis 29, 2nd half, 11:26, remaining:
Duke's big men are having trouble finishing around the rim. Mason is currently 1-of-3, Miles 1-of-5 and Ryan Kelly 1-of-4. The entire team is struggling form the charity stripe, making just under 58 percent of its "free" throws.
On a more positive note, Seth Curry is making a strong case to handle the point in Irving's absence. There have been several Duke baskets this half made as a result of timely dishes from Curry. He has three assists on the day.
Duke 47, Saint Louis 27, 2nd half, 14:42, remaining:
Not a good showing for Duke to start the half.
Duke’s free throw troubles continued to start off the second half, with Mason’s second attempt just barely making it to the front of the rim. Remekun, aka flat top, took two points off the board for his team by touching ball as it was still in the cylinder . Saint Louis's McCall hit a wide open three, the first for his team, and Coach K, angry once again, called for a timeout.
Singler gave Duke its first second-chance points of the quarter by collecting a rebound and putting it right back up. That gives him 14 on the day, 1 point fewer than Smith, who leads the team.
Duke 40, Saint Louis 16, HALFTIME:
Coach K did not end the half happy. He called timeout with 39.5 seconds left to balst his team for their defensive effort after two consecutive Saint Louis layups in transistion. On the first layup, it was Dawkins who got called out for his defense lapse, with Collins screaming at him as he tried to get in position. When the basket went in, Coach K angrily gestured to Seth Curry, who ran over to the scorer's table to wait to check in.
On the final Duke possession, Smith drew a foul and threw up a tough shot, which somehow went in. He made the free throw to give Duke an even 40 for the quarter.
Duke 33, Saint Louis 10, 1st half, 3:01, remaining:
Duke has found it's stroke, which is making this game a blowout before we even reach halftime.
Seth Curry drained a three and, not about to be outdone, Singler followed with a three of his own on the next possession. Saint Louis got two points on a goaltending call in which Miles swatted the ball away in a display of sheer power (that Saint Louis doesn't have).
Saint Louis honestly looks like its a high school team out there with its stat line of 10 points, 13 turnovers and 10 fouls. There's been tow traveling calls where Duke's defense was so stifling that the Billikens shuffled their feet and drew the whistle. Like I said, like high school basketball.
Duke 19, Saint Louis 6, 1st half, 7:58, remaining:
Finally! something for the Crazies to go, well, crazy, over. Nolan Smith took the ball from the beyond the arc and straight to the rim for the one-handed jam. It was the second timeout Saint Louis has had to call during this stretch.
Earlier, Loe took an inbounds pass off his foot and had to chase it down before Hairston got there, and that's kind of symbolic of how the game has gone so far for Saint Louis. Hairston took a charge, which provided some excitement for the relatively calm crowd. Dawkins scooped up a rebound and threw a long pass to Miles, who collected himself and then went up for the dunk, hanging on the rim as the crowd came alive again. Saint Louis called a timeout, but it didn't matter, as the shoot off the timeout barely touched the rim before it was collected for another Duke rebound. Dawkins was called for a travel on the next possesion. On a nice hustle play, Singler poked the ball out from behind the dribbler, collecting it and feeding the ball to Smith, who took it all the way. Tyler Thorton also made an earlier-than-normal appearance, coming in at the 8:09 mark. Who knows, maybe Irving's injury will make Duke play a deeper bench.
Saint Louis is 3-of-12 from the floor, and has racked up 10 turnovers. Never good when you have more turnovers than points.
Duke 11, Saint Louis 4, 1st half, 11:40, remaining:
Kyle made it rain from downtown, tumbling to the floor as his shot went in. Josh Hairston made an early appearance at the 12:20 mark. Saint Louis looks completely outmatched and has still not found its shot. The Billikens already have 6 team fouls to go with their 2-of-10 shooting.
Duke 6, Saint Louis 2, 1st half, 14:20, remaining:
Not too much to report yet. Both teams are struggling shooting so far, with Satin Louis 1-of-6 and Duke 1-of-8 from the floor.
Off of the tip, Duke wound down the shot clock to under 10 before Andre Dawkins turned it over. An errant attempt to save the ball by Saint Louis gave Duke the ball back, and Kyle drove hard to draw the foul. He missed his second attempt from the charity stripe. The Blue Devils next possession yielded nothing. On Saint Louis's ensuing possession, the Plumlee brothers fought over the same rebound. Saint Louis's Loe blocked Mason. Miles stuck up for his little brother on the next possession, blocking Remekun who, by the way, is sporting a 1990s style flat top hairdo. Needless to say, he's the Crazies favorite target.
Miles sunk some free throws, and flat top then missed an open jumper from the free throw line, and Nolan Smith took the rebound from Miles all the way down to the hoop and in, drawing a foul. He missed the free throws. Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly came in at the 16:02 mark to replace Dawkins and Mason, respectively.
PREGAME: Welcome to Cameron Indoor Stadium for the second edition of the Kyrie-less Blue Devils. We're about five minutes from tip off, and here are the starting lineups:
Nolan Smith, G
Andre Dawkins, G
Mason Plumlee, F
Kyle Singler, F
Miles Plumlee, F
For Saint Louis:
Jordair Jett, G
Mike McCall, G
Kyle Cassity, G
Cory Remekun, F
Rob Loe, F