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Halftime: Duke 46, Grand Canyon 29

Less than 24 hours after an impressive season-opening victory against Marist, the Blue Devils struggled to find their groove early, but cranked it up on both ends of the floor in the last 10 minutes of the half.

At the break, No. 1 Duke leads Grand Canyon 46-29 thanks to a balanced offensive attack led by 14 points from Grayson Allen. Despite shooting just 4-of-10 from the field, the junior guard has done his damage at the charity stripe for the second day in a row, hitting 4-of-5 free throws. 

The Blue Devil offense has taken advantage of aggressive defense by the Antelopes—Grand Canyon racked up 14 first-half fouls and put Duke into the double bonus before the midpoint of the period.

After falling behind 3-2 in the first 75 seconds, the Blue Devils did not go back in front until the 10:24 mark, but used their defense to create transition offense that has turned the game in their favor. Chase Jeter and Amile Jefferson have combined for five blocks and Duke has forced the visitors into 12 turnovers.

Offensively, Duke has struggled from behind the arc, hitting just 5-of-17 3-pointers, but the Blue Devils have controlled the paint, taking advantage of the Antelopes' early foul trouble. 

Grand Canyon's offense was jump-started by guard Shaq Carr, but has sputtered since the junior picked up his second foul. Carr has eight points and three assists for the Antelopes, who took advantage of 10 offensive rebounds to put early pressure on Duke.

Here are some observations from the first half:

  • The game was sloppy early on with seven turnovers and 11 fouls combined between the two teams in the first eight minutes.
  • With freshmen Marques Bolden, Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles all still sidelined, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski has utilized just a seven-man rotation so far—only Frank Jackson and Javin Delaurier have come off the bench for the Blue Devils
  • Jackson and Matt Jones have split ball-handling duties for Duke, but Jackson has made an impact as a scorer once again and has 11 at the break. 
  • Allen and Jackson hit late back-to-back 3-pointers as the Blue Devils closed the period on a 16-3 run.
  • The Blue Devils shot 64.7 percent from the free throw line, going 11-of-17 and leaving a few extra points at the charity stripe for the second game in a row. 

Mitchell Gladstone | Sports Managing Editor

Twitter: @mpgladstone13

A junior from just outside Philadelphia, Mitchell is probably reminding you how the Eagles won the Super Bowl this year and that the Phillies are definitely on the rebound. Outside of The Chronicle, he majors in Economics, minors in Statistics and is working toward the PJMS certificate, in addition to playing trombone in the Duke University Marching Band. And if you're getting him a sandwich with beef and cheese outside the state of Pennsylvania, you best not call it a "Philly cheesesteak." 


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