Against Elon it was an offensive explosion in the first half that decided the game. 36 hours later the Blue Devils waiting until after intermission to blow a tightly contested game up en route to a 22 point win over Long Beach State.
Sophomore Grayson Allen scored a career best 33 points - 24 coming in the second half - to help No. 15 Duke to a 103-81 win over Long Beach State in the Blue Devils’ final non-conference game of the regular season.
Duke’s leading scorer hit 15-of-17 from the free throw line and added five rebounds and six assists.
Joining Allen in double figures were Matt Jones (21), Derryck Thornton (18), and Brandon Ingram (14) as Duke moved to 11-2 on the season. The team will open ACC play against Boston College in Conte Forum on Saturday.
While the game was over early against Elon, the Blue Devils were forced to overcome a slow start from the field against a far more athletic 49ers squad.
Long Beach State out-rebounded the Blue Devils badly in the first half and led for more than 15 minutes before Duke answered with a 25-6 run that straddled halftime. Before that decisive run, Duke was kept alive with terrific free throw shooting (28-of-32 for the game) and defense that forced 18 turnovers which were converted to 24 points.
The visitors were led by A.J. Spencer’s 20 points and Noah Blackwell’s career best 19.
Duke senior Marshall Plumlee finished the game with 8 points and 10 rebounds, while Luke Kennard was the only source of scoring off the bench, finishing with nine points.