Duke walked into Bankers Life Fieldhouse, an underdog and left feeling like a headliner. The Blue Devils blew out the 2nd ranked team in the nation and it wasn’t even close. The Blue Devils who won the game 118-84, never trailed in the game and hit Kentucky with early haymakers that the Wildcats could not recover from. Duke, offensively, was hitting on all cylinders and from all areas of the floor. Paced my freshman R.J. Barrett who scored 20 before the halftime buzzer sounded on his way to 33 for the game. Barrett was an efficient 13-26 from the floor adding 6 assists. Fellow freshmen Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish added 28 and 22 respectively with Williamson, as expected, adding some highlight reel plays in the process.
Not to be understated in the Duke victory was the contributions of freshmen Tre Jones who played a magnificent floor game dishing out 7 assists and zero turnovers and much maligned junior center Marques Bolden who was 3-4 from from the floor for 7 points. The Duke bench, which has been non-existent in recent years came up with for the Blue Devils against the Wildcats with 22 points and 17 rebounds, 11 of which came from junior forward Jack White who also added 9 points. The Blue Devils shot 46.2% from beyond the arc and 54% overall in the game and only turned the ball over 4 times to Kentucky’s 15.
Freshman Keldon Johnson would lead the Wildcats in scoring going 8-16 from the floor and scoring 23 points. Graduate transfer Reid Travis added 22 points and 7 rebounds for John Calipari’s team and freshman Tyler Herro who was kept in check by Duke’s perimeter defense scored 14 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, going 1-6 from beyond the arc. The Wildcats struggled from the perimeter shooting 23.5% from beyond the arc and despite having a size advantage in the post were out rebounded by Duke 38-37
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