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Beyond the arc: Duke men's basketball thwarts Central Arkansas with lockdown defense

<p>The Duke defense forced 21 turnovers Tuesday night.</p>

The Duke defense forced 21 turnovers Tuesday night.

After a convincing 105-54 win over Central Arkansas Tuesday night, the Blue Zone gives you some key takeaways from the Blue Devils' third victory:

Three key takeaways: 

1. Duke’s defense is for real 

It was an electric performance for the Blue Devils' defense, holding the Bears to 54 total points through a combination of effective shot blocking, steals, and drawing offensive fouls. Off the bench for Duke, Wendell Moore and Jordan Goldwire accounted for seven steals, while Mathew Hurt had two blocks. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski also kept the full-court press going for the majority of the game, which Duke has been able to effectively use with Tre Jones and Goldwire. 

2. Big men lead scoring effort

With much of the Blue Devil scoring coming from Jones and Cassius Stanley in previous games, many expected to see the same against the Bears. However, it was Vernon Carey Jr. (17 points) and Hurt (19 points) who headed the Duke offense. Carey used his size advantage to dominate the paint, and Hurt used his ability to knock down jumpers to open up space in the lane. Both players shot very efficiently with Carey shooting 80 percent from the field and Hurt hitting seven of his 11 shots.

3. Jones gets injured 

There is no question that the entire Blue Devil roster plays a very physical game, and while diving on the floor is great to see from an effort standpoint, Duke fans suffered a scare with their star player going down with an injury. Jones went down after a head-to-head collision with a Central Arkansas player after chasing a rebound. Although he appeared to be all good after the game, the sophomore guard sat out the remainder of the contest for precautionary reasons. 

Three key stats: 

1. 50 percent shooting from beyond the arc 

One skill a Duke roster hasn't shown in a while is quality 3-point shooting, so it was refreshing to see the Blue Devils knock down nine shots from beyond the arc on 18 attempts. This offensive shooting spur was well-distributed across the entire team. Alex O’Connell and Hurt were the usual suspects, but others stepped up including White, Jones, Joey Baker and Goldwire.

2. 20 first half points for Central Arkansas 

Duke was absolutely dominant on defense throughout the game, but it was the performance in the first half that truly stood out. The Bears shot 5-23 with 15 turnovers over the first frame thanks to Duke’s high intensity full-court pressure. If that score had been reflected in the second half, Central Arkansas would have tied for 25th fewest points in a game in NCAA history.

3. 46 rebounds 

Duke totaled 46 rebounds, eclipsing the Bears’ by 20 in that category. Not only were the Blue Devils able to control the glass on defense, but they made effective work on the offensive end, grabbing 11 of their own misses. Carey used his size advantage and physicality to grab 10 boards, and Javin DeLaurier carried his weight with eight rebounds himself.

Looking forward: 

Duke will face Georgia State Friday in Cameron Indoor Stadium as the Blue Devils will look to shut down a high powered Panthers offense that has dropped 92.0 points per game this season. After that, it's back up to New York City for a showdown with California.

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