That’s why Duke shot 60% from the three-point line.
That’s why four starters scored at least 14 points.
That’s why the Blue Devils still rolled over Temple, 90-67, despite National Player of the Year candidate Mason Plumlee only shooting 38% from the field.
Duke (9-0) looked good in every aspect in their impressive win over the Owls (6-1), with Seth Curry scoring 23 points, freshman star Rasheed Sulaimon displaying his well-rounded game, Quinn Cook turning the ball over only once, Ryan Kelly pulling down his third career double-double and Plumlee posting yet another double-double.
After Curry sat out the Blue Devils’ dominant 88-50 win over Delaware Dec. 1, he had plenty of time to rest his leg injury and it showed after he shot 7-for-11 from the field, 5-for-9 from beyond the arc and 4-for-4 from the charity stripe. He displayed his great range from three-point land and was simply terrific from the perimeter.
Sulaimon has put together one of the best rookie seasons in all of college basketball so far and continued his great play Saturday afternoon in New Jersey. Although he scored only 10 points, he also helped hold Temple’s leading scorer, Scootie Randall, who’s averaging nearly 17 points a game, to just six points on 3-for-9 shooting. He dished out a career-high seven assists to and turned the ball over just once.
Another player who had just one turnover and showed his versatility was Cook, who recorded 14 points, four assists, four rebounds and four steals. He did a terrific job of running the offense and shot extremely well from the perimeter, knocking down three of his four three-point attempts. Cook continues to blossom in front of our eyes and with each game, he just gets that much better.
Kelly had one of the best rebounding games of his career after recording 14 points and 10 rebounds. He was a big reason Duke won the rebounding battle, 36-35, to limit even more Temple second-chance points. Plumlee, who posted 16 points and 14 rebounds, was a huge presence inside the paint as well and showed he can still have a good game without shooting well from the floor.
In case you’re wondering how redshirt freshman Alex Murphy looked after scoring his first career points a week ago, he knocked down a three-pointer and made a shot inside the paint to post five points in five minutes of play. His stroke looked beautiful from beyond the arc and seems to just be a player who will gain more confidence as he plays more. True freshman Amile Jefferson also tallied seven points and two rebounds in nine minutes of play.
Another huge advantage Duke held over Temple was the free-throw margin. The Blue Devils shot 22-for-29 from the line, whereas Temple made just one free throw after taking only four attempts. Duke simply did a good job of playing defense without fouling and made a living at the line. An additional stat to note was the Blue Devils’ assist-to-turnover ratio, with was better than 3:1.
With final exams looming, Duke is off until Dec. 19 when they take on Cornell in Cameron Indoor Stadium at 7pm. The game will be televised on ESPNU as they look to extend their win streak to 10.