Devils Move Past China In Opener

Duke puts four in double figures to easily out-pace the Chinese national team

KUNSHAN, China -- The Duke Blue Devils began their overseas trip in style Wednesday night with a 77-64 victory over the Chinese Olympic Team in Kunshan. Freshman Austin Rivers led the Blue Devils with 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting, while junior forward Ryan Kelly tallied a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

"I felt very comfortable from the start of the game," said Rivers. "We got off to a little bit of a slow start but in the second half we came out and played well. We are excited about the way we played especially in the second half and looking forward to getting out there to continue to develop."

After playing to an 11-11 tie in the opening 10 minutes, Duke broke the game open with a 21-12 surge in the second quarter. Rivers and Andre Dawkins paced the offensive attack with 11 points combined and Miles Plumlee added two thunderous dunks in the closing minutes of the half to help the Blue Devils grasp momentum.

Duke came out of the half and started clicking on offense with Seth Curry knocking down a pair of threes to go along with a midrange jumper and Ryan Kelly finishing in traffic twice and getting to the foul line for two more points. The Blue Devils finished the quarter with 25 points to extend their lead to 57-43.

Rivers, Dawkins and Curry each knocked down three-point field goals in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter as Duke extended its lead to 20 points midway through the stanza. The Chinese Olympic Team battled back but could not get any closer than 12 points the rest of the way.

Duke's defensive effort was strong throughout the game holding the opposition to 20-of-61 shooting from the field while forcing 19 turnovers. The Chinese Olympic Team was able to stay in the game in large part to a huge discrepancy at the foul line, with China shooting 40 free throws to Duke's 15. Duke didn't shoot any free throws until the second quarter when Mason Plumlee was intentionally fouled on a breakaway to the basket.

Dawkins and Curry finished with 15 and 13 points respectively to give Duke four double-figure scorers. The backcourt tandem combined for seven three-point field goals with Dawkins draining a team-high four threes.

Duan Jiangpeng knocked down five three-point field goals to pace the Chinese team with 19 points, while Wang Zhelin added 18 points and eight rebounds.

Miles Plumlee, Duke's lone senior, recorded 10 rebounds before fouling out in the third quarter. Sophomore Josh Hairston added seven rebounds as Duke outrebounded its counterparts, 52-40, for the contest.

Rivers also paced the Blue Devils with five assists, while Dawkins and Tyler Thornton each had three steals on the night.

Duke will play the same Chinese team twice more, once Thursday night in Shanghai and then again on August 22 in Beijing. The remaining three games of the tour through China and Dubai will be shown live on ESPNU and ESPN3.com.


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