In Coach K's return to the sideline, Duke took on Wake Forest for its second game in four days. It was a close first half, with the Blue Devils heading into the locker room holding a narrow 37-33 lead. Here are five observations from the first 20 minutes:
Against Boston College, the Blue Devils’ offense struggled in their first game in three weeks. But the team looked totally refreshed in the first half against Wake Forest, looking far more fluid with great ball movement and off-ball attacks. Duke shot 53.6% from the floor over the first 20 minutes.
Mark Williams starts, but struggles
Freshman center Mark Williams grabbed the start for the fourth time in his career, as head coach Mike Krzyzewski looked to start the game with some size. It was a tough start for the 7-footer, though, as he racked up three turnovers and no points in four minutes.
Blue Devils unable to slow Demon Deacon offense
Allowing 33 first-half points was not the plan for a Duke team that prides itself on lockdown defense, as Wake Forest shot 47.6% from the floor in the opening period. Luckily, Duke came through with better offense to take the lead into half.
Wendell Moore Jr. off to a slow start
After a season-high 25 points in Wednesday’s one-point victory, Wendell Moore Jr. came off the bench and struggled to begin Saturday’s contest. There’s still a whole other half for Moore to get going, but in a game many saw as essential for Moore to build off Wednesday’s performance, he shot the ball just two times and racked up three turnovers through the first half.
Player of the half: Matthew Hurt
Hurt exploded to start this game, scoring the Blue Devils first seven points and notching 11 total points through 20 minutes. Not only was Hurt scoring, he was doing it efficiently, shooting 5-for-6 from the floor and making good use of his looks on the interior. The sophomore forward was limited to 13 minutes in the half due to foul trouble, but should be Duke's go-to option out of the break.
Get Overtime, all Duke athletics
Signup for our editorially curated, weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.