Mason Plumlee scored 18 points and hauled in 11 rebounds for yet another double double to lead the Blue Devils to their 8th win of the season.
Duke took it to Delaware easily dispatching the Blue Hens 88-50 to improve to 8-0 on the season.
The good news for the Blue Devils, partially due to the margin of victory, Seth Curry sitting this one out to rest his leg, and little foul trouble, Duke’s bench erupted for 27 points led behind Amile Jefferson’s 12 points/6 boards, and Alex Murphy’s 10 points and 7 rebounds.
Duke playing their 5th game since Thanksgiving, came out red hot, and that defense that has been shaky, looked to be in fine shape all game long. The Blue Devils did not appear to be tired, as some might think coming off a string of highly competitive games in short period.
Rasheed Sulaimon scored 14 points and had 6 assists. Quinn Cook added 8 points and had 5 assists, but Tyler Thornton dished out 10 of his own, and the Duke team had 22 assists overall as a team. Ryan Kelly also had another in his long line of impressive games scoring 18 points.
The Blue Hens are definitely a level behind the Blue Devils, but the ability for Duke to gain some bench experience, not to mention confidence could help deepen the bench. Even Todd Zafirovski scored the first 2 points of his career in his first action of the season.
Alex Murphy scored the first points of his career on a reverse layup in the second half. Murphy who was a preseason starter this year but has played limited minutes,had missed his first 4 shots of this season before he scored an obvious career high 10 points.
The bench play will become key as the season progresses, and once Marshall Plumlee returns, if at full strength, the bench will only get deeper. Foul trouble won’t be a big issue when you can replace a starter with a player capable of holding their own when called upon.
Duke has a week long rest until it travels to East Rutherford to face the Temple Owls next Saturday. That is their only game until December 19 when they play Cornell after the exam break. The rest should freshen up some tired and injured legs, and get them ready for early January when ACC play begins.
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