Duke Basketball: Blue Devils Overwhelm Rhode Island in Laugher

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 17: Grayson Allen
PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 17: Grayson Allen /

The Duke Blue Devils bolted passed the Rhode Island Rams and never looked back.

It was supposed to be a tough, gritty game and it was, for the first seven minutes.

At the 17:47 mark of the first half Rhode Island led 7-2. At the 7:26 mark Duke led 31-16.

Duke was active and tenacious at the defensive end, to go along with their scorching offense and that was a bad combination for Rhode Island, as they were stunned at everything that was coming at them.

Down 45-28 at halftime, the only thing Rhode Island could hang their hat on was the great play of E.C. Matthews who had 13 points. Matthews finished with 21 and was the best player for the Rams by far.

The Blue Devils were just too much for Rhode Island to handle.

For example, Rhode Island had 6’4″, 201 pound Stanford Robinson guarding Marvin Bagley III. Let’s just say that went as poorly as you’d expect for Robinson.

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Bagley finished with 22 points and 9 rebounds on 80% shooting.

The rest of the starting five for Duke also reached double figures. Wendell Carter Jr. didn’t miss, going 6-6 from the field and 1-1 from the free throw line for 13 points.

Gary Trent Jr. found his stroke adding 18 points to the winning cause, and although Trevon Duval was not as efficient today, he still added 11 points, 7 assists, and only 1 turnover.

In my opinion, Grayson Allen hit the dagger at the 10:20 mark in the first half when he hit a three-pointer from Heinz Field and was fouled on the play by Fatts Russell. Allen’s four-point play put Duke up 19-11.

This was virtually a perfect game for the Blue Devils and they are on their way to the Sweet 16!

In the victory Coach K passed the late and legendary Tennessee Women’s Basketball Coach Pat Summit for the most wins all-time as a D-I head coach at 1,099!

Duke will take on the winner of Syracuse and Michigan State next weekend. The Blue Devils have already defeated both teams this year, but keep in mind the Michigan State win was during the first week of the season.