Duke Opens Season With Big Win

DURHAM, N.C. – Kyle Singler scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half and No. 9 Duke shrugged off the absence of two starters in a 96-62 rout of UNC Greensboro on Friday night.

Singler, the ACC's preseason player of the year, finished 9 of 15 from the field, and Jon Scheyer added 18 points for the Blue Devils (1-0).

Duke shot 59.7 percent and used two huge first-half runs to extend its NCAA record home nonconference winning streak to 69. The ACC's preseason co-favorites with defending national champion North Carolina improved to 28-2 in openers under Mike Krzyzewski.

Ben Stywall had 19 points to lead UNC Greensboro (0-1), the preseason pick to finish last in its division in the Southern Conference.

The Blue Devils made this one look easy even without a pair of key players. Guard Nolan Smith was suspended for the first two games of the season for playing in unsanctioned summer league games, while 6-foot-10 freshman forward Mason Plumlee is out indefinitely with a broken left wrist.

That left Scheyer as the only true guard in the starting lineup. Duke's four other starters each stood at least 6-7 — or, one inch taller than the biggest Spartan starter, 6-6 Pete Brown.

Duke took the drama out of this one by halftime with a pair of overwhelming runs.

Singler and Scheyer each had seven points during the 23-6 spurt that gave the Blue Devils a comfortable lead, with Miles Plumlee's putback capping the burst and making it 23-8 with roughly 12 minutes before the break. Duke later used a 17-5 burst to go up 23 when Scheyer's free throw at the 1:58 mark doubled up the Spartans, 46-23.

Brian Zoubek, the Blue Devils' 7-1 center, scored 14 off the bench. Lance Thomas added 12.

UNC Greensboro fell to 0-23 against ranked teams while opening against one for the first time in 15 years. It was a tough way for the Spartans to begin a brutal schedule that includes half of the Atlantic Coast Conference's 12 teams — and four of them are coming to the Greensboro Coliseum, where this season's ACC tournament will be held.

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