It looks like Brandon Ingram might do it again.
After struggling to find his stroke in the first few games of the season, the Kinston, N.C., native came alive against Indiana Wednesday for a game-high 24 points. Ingram has started out hot once again, leading the Blue Devils with 15 points to give No. 7 Duke a 34-24 lead against Buffalo at halftime Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Ingram had the Cameron Crazies riled up with eight minutes left to play in the half when he rose up over the Bulls' frontcourt to slam down a two-handed jam to extend the Blue Devil lead to eight. After the under-eight time out, he asserted his dominance again, but this time from beyond the arc to tack on three more points.
Grayson Allen showed his aggression early Saturday afternoon, putting up 10 points. Although he only went 2-of-6 from the floor, the sophomore was able to draw fouls from the start and convert on his free throws. The Jacksonville, Fla., native went 6-for-8 from the charity stripe. He also brought down six rebounds—more than big men Marshall Plumlee and Amile Jefferson combined.
Plumlee, Jefferson and the rest of Duke's frontcourt struggled in the opening minutes of Saturday's contest. Both big men picked up fouls early in the half, and Jefferson tacked on a second with five minutes remaining in the half. Plumlee went to the locker room without posting any points or rebounds, and Jefferson provided just two points for the Blue Devils.
Here are some observations from the first half:
- The backcourt carried the Blue Devils at the start of the half, with Ingram and Allen combining for Duke's first 15 points. The duo were the only two Blue Devils to score in the first 11:30 of play.
- The Bulls struggled with fouls in the first half—accumulating seven team fouls before the under-12 minute mark—and were whistled 13 times overall.
- Despite playing a stellar game against the Hoosiers with a career-high 23 points, Matt Jones notched just three points on 1-of-5 shooting in the first half on his birthday.
- Freshman Derryck Thornton struggled in the opening 20 minutes, as he scored only two points and recorded one assist.
- Allen and Ingram were the only Blue Devils to knock down multiple shots from the field.
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