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HALFTIME: No. 5 Duke 61, Livingstone 24

After defeating the Blue Bears 115-58 in their first exhibition contest last season, the Blue Devils are well on their way to another rout. 

No. 5 Duke leads Livingstone 61-24 at the half at Cameron Indoor Stadium in the Blue Devils' second and final exhibition match Wednesday night. Sophomore Grayson Allen and freshman Brandon Ingram led the Duke effort with 14 points each. Duke pulled away early, taking a 12-4 lead before the first TV timeout and never looking back. 

But soon after, senior captain Amile Jefferson hobbled off the floor with an apparent leg injury after leading the team with six points up until his exit. Freshman Chase Jeter promptly stepped up to fill the void in the post—adding five points to the Blue Devils' scoring explosion. 

One of the offensive highlights of the first half came when freshman Luke Kennard released a behind-the-head pass to senior Marshall Plumlee, who ran the floor and put down the slam with 6:42 to play in the half. Kennard finished the half with 11 points on 3-of-8 shooting, and Plumlee added nine points and was a perfect 4-of-4 from the floor, with a team-high five rebounds to boot.

Once again, Duke began the game with point guard Derryck Thornton on the bench, opting for Kennard to take over ball handling responsibilities from the tip since junior Matt Jones sat out the contest with a groin injury. Thornton entered after the first timeout and knocked down just two points in the first 20 minutes of play.

Here are some observations from the first half:

  • Matt Jones is not playing tonight after suffering a groin injury in the second half of Duke's contest against Florida Southern.
  • With Amile Jefferson's exit, two of the Blue Devils' three captains were unavailable to play for the majority of the first 20 minutes.
  • Luke Kennard assumed the primary ball-handling responsibilities from the opening tip, filling Jones' starting slot.
  • NBA Hall-of-famer David Robinson was in attendance to watch his son, Justin Robinson, in tonight's exhibition contest. Robinson played five minutes off the bench and didn't score any points.
  • Despite struggling early in the Blue Devils' first exhibition contest, Grayson Allen opened the game with five points before the first TV timeout.
  • The Blue Devils switched over to a zone defense midway through the first half that proved effective, with Duke forcing the Blue Bears into a shot clock violation and a turnover on back-to-back trips down the floor. 
  • Livingstone went just 9-of-35 from the floor in the first half, and committed 18 turnovers against the lengthy Blue Devil defense.
  • Duke shot 51.3 percent from the floor, with Allen, Kennard and Ingram notching double-digit scoring efforts.


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