Sophomore guard Luke Kennard put on an offensive display, netting 30 points, as the Blue Devils defeated Virginia State, 90-59, Friday evening in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke’s matchup with the Trojans was the first of two exhibition games for the Blue Devils this season.
Kennard, who led all scorers in the contest, shot 8-of-17 from the field, while adding six rebounds and two assists. The Franklin, Ohio, native shot a near-perfect 11-of-12 from the charity stripe. Freshman center Marques Bolden registered a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 11 boards, including six on the offensive end. The DeSoto, Texas, native added five blocks on the defensive end of the floor.
Duke went into the break leading the Trojans, 42-27, with Kennard netting 17 first-half points on 5-of-8 shooting. Junior guard Grayson Allen added nine first-half points, while Bolden added seven of his own.
After Virginia State’s Kevin Williams opened the scoring in the contest with a layup, a jumper and a trio of free throws by Kennard on back-to-back Duke possessions put the Blue Devils up three. The home team would never trail again in the game.
Duke’s defense locked in midway through the opening stanza, as the Blue Devils held the Trojans scoreless over a span of more than five minutes, racking up 13 points to see their lead grow to 16 during the stretch. Bolden contributed to Duke’s defensive efforts, registering three of the team’s eight blocks in the first half.
Duke’s momentum from the first half carried over to the second period. The Blue Devils outscored the Trojans, 48-32 in the second half, fueled by a 15-3 run. Freshman guard Frank Jackson contributed to Duke’s scoring efforts during the four-minute span, hitting a pair of threes to highlight his 17-point scoring night. The Blue Devil run helped seal the victory for Duke.
Freshman forward Javin DeLaurier brought the crowd to its feet late in the game after forcing a steal at the elbow and taking the ball coast-to-coast for the dunk at the other end of the floor. The Shipman, Va., native ended the night with seven points and four boards.
The Blue Devils finished the night shooting 27-of-54 (.500) from the floor, including 10-of-23 (.435) from beyond the arc.
The Blue Devils return to action Friday, Nov. 4, welcoming Augustana (S.D.) to Cameron Indoor Stadium for Duke’s final exhibition of the 2016-17 season.