Duke played their fourth consecutive home game Saturday night, taking care of Yale by a final score of 91-58. The Blue Zone breaks down three takeaways, three key stats, and offers a glimpse forward for the now 9-1 Blue Devils:

Three Takeaways:

Jack White has another big game off the bench:

In 25 minutes of play, Jack White gave the Cameron Crazies something to cheer about.

With 9 points and 12 rebounds in the contest, White continued to be an unstoppable force on the glass, turning in a pair of blocks to go with his already stellar play. Off the bench, the 6-foot-7 junior has blossomed into the sixth man role, becoming a reliable option game after game.

Even if Cam Reddish continues to struggle on the offensive side of the ball, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski now has a go-to substitute, a key for a Duke team that looks to make a deep run into March.

First-half woes:

While Duke entered halftime leading 41-32, the Blue Devils had quite the slow start. Twelve minutes into the contest, Yale actually had the lead, building off momentum from poor offensive possessions by the Blue Devils and a couple key 3-point shots and tip-ins off the glass. 

For Duke, the shots just weren’t falling. Often this season, it has taken the Blue Devils a few minutes to get into the game. A pattern of slow starts is starting to concern Duke fans as the team enters conference play, and it must improve on this before the new year.

Stellar defense:

The largest factor that ensured an easy victory for Duke’s fourth straight win was lights-out play on the defensive end. The Blue Devils forced Yale to take contested shots all night, and the Bulldogs simply did not respond. They converted only 35.4 percent of their attempts from the field, and made an awful 13 percent of shots from beyond the arc.

Maybe Duke’s offense is struggling through an early-season issue or two, but if the defense can keep opponents to numbers anywhere near these, there won’t be many problems in the wins department.

Three Key Stats:

64.5 percent on Free Throws:

This is starting to become a pattern for the Blue Devils.

Duke turned in another atrocious game from the charity stripe, converting on only 20 of its 31 attempts. Most notably, Zion Williamson only hit 6 of his 10 attempts. The star freshman will likely be taking the lion’s share of free throws this season, drawing fouls left and right with his relentless assault on the paint in the frontcourt. This simply must improve if the Blue Devils are going to pull out some closer ACC games in the new year. 

Teams will continue to hang around if Duke does not take advantage of its chances from the line—exactly like the Bulldogs did tonight.

30 Points for R.J Barrett:

RJ Barrett is on a roll. He is proving himself to be the dominant force that Blue Devil fans were waiting to see, and he turned in another stellar performance on Saturday.

Barrett has led Duke in scoring in each of the last three games, and tonight he dropped 30 points on 9-for-19 shooting. What is even more impressive, however, is his 9-for-12 free-throw shooting on a team that is, as we have mentioned, struggling mightily from the line. A 75 percent mark is not shattering any records, but it has improved since early season contests. 

The Mississauga, Ont., native has improved his efficiency and grown into the leadership role on an offense that Duke will rely on later in the season.

Cam Reddish 0-for-5 from deep:

Unfortunately, the basketball gods did not shine their light on Reddish tonight, who was a dismal 4-for-12 from the field—including an 0-for-5 mark from 3-point range, Reddish’s second consecutive bad night from beyond the arc.

Over the last two games, the 6-foot-7 freshman has only converted on one of 14 attempts from distance. Once he gets his shooting touch back, we will see Duke’s offense truly firing on all cylinders, but until then, the Blue Devils will look for significant bench scoring from range.

Looking Forward:

Duke will play their second straight Ivy League opponent Tuesday night, when Princeton will travel to Durham for a finals-week showdown. Look for the Tigers to give it their all before they open up conference play with back-to-back games against Penn. The Blue Devils will try to put up another big win in front of a rowdy home crowd before traveling to New York to face Texas Tech—look for them to do just that.