No. 1 Duke thumps Grand Canyon

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Joedy Mc­Creary

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.”

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