Duke basketball shows signs of improvement in rout of Charlotte

Duke basketball guard Jaylen Blakes (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball guard Jaylen Blakes (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team showed signs of improvement in a rout of Charlotte. 

It has not been a good week for the Duke basketball team but the Blue Devils finally showed some signs of life on Saturday afternoon as they returned home to play Charlotte.

Jon Scheyer’s team finally came out of the locker room with energy and started the game on a 27-11 run over the first 12 minutes and took a 45-27 lead into the locker room.

Tyrese Proctor, still sidelined by an ankle sprain, saw Caleb Foster take his place in the starting lineup but only finish with seven points, three rebounds, and three assists but the other freshman guard, Jared McCain, continued his strong play against mid-major competition with 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting.

Duke did not have as strong of a start to the second half after opening up a 23-point lead, 53-30, after a 14-4 run by Charlotte got the 49ers back within 11 points, 59-48, with 12 minutes remaining.

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The Blue Devils would use a 10-2 run of its own over four minutes to take control of the game once again and close out its 80-56 victory.

Mark Mitchell was inserted back into the starting lineup and while he didn’t have as productive of a game from the field, shooting just 2-of-5, he did manage his way to a free throw line to connect on 8-of-12 attempts.

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Kyle Filipowski did not have a great shooting game as he finished with five points on 2-of-10 shooting but did manage 13 rebounds and four assists while Jeremy Roach ended with 18 points.

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Jaylen Blakes, a seldom used guard, seized the moment with Proctor sidelined with a perfect shooting day from the field — 5-for-5 including 3-of-3 from 3-point range and 2-for-2 from the free throw line.

Duke will be tested next week against Hofstra, a quality mid-major from New York, on Tuesday night before having a week off until December 20 when the Blue Devils travel to the Big Apple to play Baylor inside Madison Square Garden.

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