No. 1 Duke thumps Grand Canyon
With three big men out with injuries, top-ranked Duke is leaning on its guards for a little bit of everything.
Grayson Allen had 25 points and 10 rebounds, freshman Frank Jackson added 21 points and the Blue Devils beat Grand Canyon 96-61 on Saturday.
“We have to rebound — the whole perimeter has to rebound,” said Allen, who finished one rebound shy of his career best. “We know the big guys that we do have in the game, they’re going to be battling, boxing out the other bigs, so the perimeter, we need to crash in and rebound and clean up all the loose stuff.”
Amile Jefferson scored 15 points, Luke Kennard finished with 14 and Matt Jones had 11 points for the short-handed Blue Devils (2-0).
Once again playing without three injured freshman post players, they kept things largely in their guards’ hands and shot 53 percent to win their second game in less than 24 hours.
“I like my team a lot. We just have to keep getting better, and then once all these injuries are taken care of in some time, we can become a different team,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Right now, we have to be this team and not think about who we could be. Our complete focus has got to be how to win with this team.”
Now, with those two tuneup games out of the way, the focus squarely falls on one of the marquee matchups of the early season: a date with No. 3 Kansas on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Shaq Carr had 18 points to lead pesky Grand Canyon (0-1), which gave Duke more of a test than Marist did in a 94-49 rout a night earlier but came up empty in its second opener against a top-ranked team in three years. night.
Newkirk hit 9 of 16 from the field, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, with a career-best seven rebounds and three assists. James Demery added 11 points and tied a career high with eight rebounds.
Steve Taylor Jr.’s jumper gave Toledo a 71-70 lead with 2:04 to play but St. Joe’s got a pair of offensive rebounds on its next possession before a putback by Markell Lodge, and then a jumper and two free throws by Newkirk, gave the Hawks the lead — 76-71 — for good.
Jonathan Williams led Toledo with 18 points. Steve Taylor Jr. added 14 points with seven rebounds and Daniel Dzierzawski had 13 points. victory over Bryant.
The Irish used an 18-2 second half run, capped by Rex Pflueger’s 3-point play, to turn a single-digit lead into a 22-point advantage in a span of five minutes.
“The ‘Big Three’ led the way,” said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey. “That was good because it was a hard game.”
Notre Dame, which is coming off back-to-back Elite Eight runs in the NCAA Tournament, was just 3 of 16 from beyond the arc but hit 26 of 29 (89.7 percent) free-throw attempts.
“I love what we did from the foul line,” Brey said. “I think we can be right up there nationally.”
Nisre Zouzoua led Bryant with 19 points. Freshmen Sebastian Townes chipped in 16 points and Adam Grant had 13 before fouling out. The Bulldogs turned it over 13 times and shot 41 percent from the field.
“We were able to hold ourselves very competitively for a good portion of the game,” said Bryant coach Tim O’Shea. “It got away from us a little bit, but it was more of a function of how good Notre Dame is. We made some mistakes, but we weren’t overwhelmed.”
Known as a shoot-first 3-point threat, Beachem was a perfect 7 of 7 from the foul line, a result of his improved ability to drive to the basket rather than settle for jump shots.
“That was something I was focused on in the offseason, putting the ball on the deck,” Beachem said. “That was something I was hearing feedback on after the (NBA) draft process, so it’s something that I have to make a concerted effort to do rather than just spot up and shoot 3s.”