Jabari Parker turned in his second-consecutive 21-point, 10-rebound performance and Rodney Hood added 18 points as the Duke Blue Devils cruised past the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs, 91-55.
It was the third time in four games that the Blue Devils have scored more than ninety points, and they’ve been led by the star freshman Parker in all of them.
It was another quick start for Mike Krzyzewski’s squad, as they held a 26-10 advantage over the Bulldogs just seven-and-a-half minutes in after a barrage of three-pointers from Andre Dawkins, Semi Ojeleye (2), Tyler Thornton, and Rodney Hood.
Parker would take over soon after, scoring nine points in just a little under four minutes to pace the Blue Devils. He would finish the first half with 14 points while Hood finished with 15.
The second half was more of the same, with Dawkins scoring 10 as Duke cruised the rest of the way.
For Duke, the win came with a lot of promising signs.
They finished with a 42-28 rebounding advantage, which is, by far, the biggest advantage they’ve had in a single game this season. It still isn’t anything to brag about, as UNC Asheville isn’t the most dominant of teams in the paint, but it was a refreshing change of pace for a Blue Devil squad that has been miserable on the boards all year.
It was also the second straight impressive performance from Dawkins, who is beginning to emerge as the reliable sixth-man we all expected him to be heading into the season. The redshirt senior scored 13 points on 4-7 shooting (3-6 from 3pt) and tacked on 3 rebounds and an assist in 18 minutes. If this is in fact the Dawkins we’ll be seeing for the rest of the year, this team just got a whole lot better.
Also turning in strong performances was freshman Semi Ojeleye–who finished with 10 points, 5 rebounds, an assist, a steal, and a block in just 14 minutes–and Quinn Cook, who is quickly developing a fine chemistry with Parker.
As a team, Duke shot 57.4% from the field and 43.5% from beyond the arc,
Sam Hughes (16 points, 3 rebounds, assist, 4 steals) led the way for UNC Asheville, with David Robertson (12 points) being the only other Bulldog to finish in double digits.
Both teams return to action tomorrow night. Duke (3-1) hosts East Carolina at 6pm ET and UNC Asheville (1-3) plays Norfolk State at 8:30pm ET.