Fan­tas­tic fresh­men help No. 4 Duke blow out No. 2 Ken­tucky

Yuma Sun - - SUN SPORTS -

IN­DI­ANAPO­LIS — RJ Bar­rett scored 33 points and Zion Wil­liamson added 28 in their first col­lege games, lead­ing No. 4 Duke over No. 2 Ken­tucky 11884 on Tues­day night in the sea­son-open­ing Cham­pi­ons Clas­sic.

It was the most lop­sided de­feat in coach John Cali­pari’s ten­ure at Ken­tucky and marked the eighth time in 10 meet­ings the Blue Devils have beaten the Wild­cats.

Both Bar­rett and Wil­liamson sur­passed Marvin Ba­gley III’s pro­gram record for points by a fresh­man in his de­but at 25. Cam Red­dish added 22 points and Tre Jones had six, giv­ing Duke’s fresh­men a com­bined 89 points.

The teams set a Clas­sic record for most com­bined points, set hours ear­lier in No. 1 Kansas’ 92-87 vic­tory over No. 10 Michi­gan State.

Kel­don John­son scored 23 points to lead Ken­tucky. Grad­u­ate trans­fer Reid Travis added 22 for the Wild­cats, who had won all nine pre­vi­ous sea­son open­ers un­der Cali­pari.

The highly-an­tic­i­pated game be­tween two of the na­tion’s most suc­cess­ful col­lege pro­grams was never close. Duke led by 10 af­ter six min­utes and ex­tended the lead to 34-13 less than 10 min­utes into the game.

The Blue Devils didn’t stop with that flurry.

Af­ter mak­ing it 59-42 at half­time, Duke kept pulling away through­out the sec­ond half. Bar­rett’s dunk with 16:11 re­main­ing made it 72-47, Alex O’Con­nell’s 3-pointer with 11:45 re­main­ing made it 91-54 and Duke topped the 100-point mark on an­other dunk by Bar­rett with 7:36 left.

Ken­tucky only got as close as 27 un­til the wan­ing

DUKE FOR­WARD RJ BAR­RETT (5) shoots around Ken­tucky for­ward Reid Travis (22) dur­ing the first half of Tues­day’s game at the Cham­pi­ons Clas­sic in In­di­anapo­lis.

mo­ments.

Bar­rett was 13 of 26 from the field while Wil­liamson was 11 of 13 with seven re­bounds.

BIG PIC­TURE

Ken­tucky: It was an em­bar­rass­ing per­for­mance for the Wild­cats, who weren’t phys­i­cal enough against Wil­liamson and couldn’t keep up with Bar­rett. Most teams don’t have that kind of com­bi­na­tion, but it’s clear Ken­tucky needs to

im­prove dra­mat­i­cally to keep up with the na­tion’s top teams.

Duke: The Blue Devils seem to have it all — ath­letes, scor­ers, de­fend­ers and re­bound­ers. Still, you can bet coach Mike Krzyzewski will try to fix his team’s flaws and make Duke an even more dif­fi­cult matchup.

STAT PACK:

Ken­tucky: Tyler Herro was the only other player to reach dou­ble fig­ures. He fin­ished with 14 points, nine re­bounds and five as­sists . ... Ken­tucky shot 44

per­cent from the field but al­lowed the Blue Devils to shoot 54 per­cent . ... The Wild­cats were outscored 6038 in the paint . ... The game marked the first time Ken­tucky faced a ranked op­po­nent in a sea­son opener since a 79-71 over­time loss to Clem­son in 1995.

Duke: The Blue Devils only com­mit­ted four turnovers com­pared with Ken­tucky’s 15 . ... Duke im­proved to 12-2 all-time in In­di­anapo­lis and 3-0 at Bankers Life Field­house . ... The Blue Devils have won 19 con­sec­u­tive open­ers.

(4) Duke 118 (2) Ken­tucky 84

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