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Five observations from Duke men's basketball's first half against Auburn

Tre Jones had another effective half as a scorer.

LAHAINA, Hawaii—Playing against the No. 8 team in the nation, the inexperienced Blue Devils looked on their game from the get-go. Duke got out to an early double-digit lead and enters the locker room with a 41-33 advantage against Auburn.

Player of the half: Tre Jones

After opening the Maui Invitational with a career-high 14 points, Jones continued his offensive rhythm Tuesday. The freshman scored seven points on an efficient 3-of-6 performance from the field, and once again dominated as the Blue Devils’ distributor, adding two assists in the half with no turnovers. With Zion Williamson a non-factor early and Cam Reddish in foul trouble, Jones’ scoring could be important alongside R.J. Barrett, who led the team with nine in the first half. 

Zion Williamson contained again

After San Diego State shut down Williamson in the first half, the Spartanburg, S.C., native faced a similar fate in the first half Tuesday. Williamson picked up a foul and turned it over in the first two minutes as the 6-foot-7 forward never found his rhythm. Williamson only attempted three shots in the half and enters the locker room with six points and five boards.

Foul trouble for Reddish

Cam Reddish has been arguably Duke’s best player on the court Tuesday, but the Norristown, Pa., native has struggled to stay on the court due to foul trouble. Reddish has eight points on 2-of-3 shooting, but the freshman played just seven minutes in the half after picking up his third foul with 7:51 remaining. With the rest of the team converting on only 2-of-10 attempts beyond the arc, Reddish’s foul trouble could be a factor for Duke down the stretch.

Slow start for Auburn

Auburn made just four of its first 20 shots and hit just 5-of-19 shots from downtown as the Tigers allowed Duke to build a double-digit lead. Guard Jared Harper especially struggled from the field in the half, making just two of his 11 attempts.

Balanced attack from the onset.

The Blue Devils had a balanced attack throughout the opening 20 minutes of play, as seven players got on the board for Duke. Playing with a frantic pace offensively, head coach Mike Krzyzewski continued to dig deep into his bench, as nine players found themselves on the court for the Blue Devils in the half. The bench combined for seven points through the first 20 minutes.