Blue Devils Clip Eagles, 95-58

Duke closed out the exhibition season in a big way Thursday, blasting North Carolina Central 95-58. Junior big man Shelden Williams led the way with 25 points, 12 rebounds, and six blocks as the Blue Devils moved towards the season opener on November 20th.

From the start it was clear that Duke wasn't going to be severely tested by the Eagles as the Blue Devils raced out to an early 7-0 lead that quickly ballooned to 14-2 as J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams both tallied five points in the first six minutes. From there it was all Duke the interior play of Williams allowed the perimeter to open up for senior Daniel Ewing, Redick, and Lee Melchionni, who finished with nine points on four of eight shooting.

"I felt pretty comfortable in the first half, said Melchionni of his second straight productive game. "It's pretty easy to get open shots when you play with guys like Shelden [Williams], Shav[lik Randolph], J.J. [Redick] and Daniel [Ewing]. But yeah, I was pretty comfortable and was able to knock some down."

Redick finished with 17 points on just nine shot attempts.

Ewing, who started the game as the team's point guard in place of junior Sean Dockery, finished with 16 points and six assists against just two turnovers. The new position is a challenge the senior is looking forward to this year.

"You're going to see a lot of that this year, me playing the point, me playing off the ball," said Ewing. "That's just the way it's going to have to be for us to be successful."

Ewing converted a pair of free throws with just under two minutes to give Duke its largest lead of the first period at 43-19 before settling for a 45-22 advantage at intermission.

The second half saw the Eagles close to within 18 before Ewing sparked an 7-0 Duke run by hitting a layup. Dockery then stole the in bounds pass and kicked it back to Ewing for an open three. After a defensive stop Ewing found junior Shavlik Randolph inside for a conversion to push the lead to 25.

Randolph finished with 10 points and six rebounds despite catching an elbow in the first half that bloodied his nose and forced him to the bench.

The Blue Devils' largest lead of the night came when senior Reggie Love converted a three point play to push the lead to 93-49 with 2:05 remaining. The 6-foot-4, 240 pound former NFL signee finished with seven points and seven points and seven rebounds.

Freshman David McClure, starting his first career game, added four points, seven rebounds, and three steals in 22 minutes of action. Meanwhile fellow freshman DeMarcus Nelson sat out his second game with an injured right thumb.

Duke opens the regular season Saturday, November 20 at home versus Tennessee-Martin at 7:00 p.m. while the Eagles host St. Paul's on Tuesday.


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