RJ Barrett leads No 3 Duke to 11349 rout of Stetson

DURHAM, N.C. — RJ Barrett didn’t know how close he was to a triple-double. The Duke freshman was having too much fun to check the box score.Barrett had 26 points, seven rebounds and a season-high seven assists, and the third-ranked Blue Devils routed Stetson 113-49 on Saturday night.“I was just having too much fun out there” to worry about the stats, Barrett said.Cameron Reddish scored 23 points and Zion Williamson finished with 17 to help the Blue Devils (7-1) win their second straight.Duke shot a season-best 58 per cent, and had season highs of 19 steals and 27 turnovers forced while reaching triple digits for the first time since the season-opening 118-84 rout of then-No. 2 Kentucky.“That’s what happens when we play hard and play together,” Barrett said. “We play defence and turn it into offence.”Barrett played just 17 minutes, but that was long enough to challenge for Duke’s first triple-double in nearly 13 years.According to the school, he’s the first player in program history with that many points, rebounds and assists plus four steals in a game. He was taken out for good with 15:38 left and the Blue Devils up by 50.“I thought we’d play the starters more in the second half, and then we just exploded,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said.Abayomi Iyiola scored 19 points to lead the Hatters (1-8), who have lost eight straight and were 2 of 23 from 3-point range.BIG PICTUREStetson: The rebuilding Hatters have yet to beat a Division I team this season, haven’t beaten a Top 25 team since 1982 and lost five key players from last year. So expecting them to be competitive might have been asking too much from the No. 338 team in Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency rankings. At least they led — on three separate occasions early, by one point each time, for a total of 34 seconds.“I’ve never faced a team like that since I’ve been at Stetson,” sixth-year coach Corey Williams said. “They are certainly more than advertised, and we had to play a flawless game to even keep it close.”Duke: This was the epitome of a taking-care-of-business victory for the Blue Devils, 43-point favourites who didn’t receive even a whiff of a test after the first few minutes. The only drama in the second half was whether Barrett — who made 12 of 14 shots — would check back into the game and try to become the fourth Duke player with a triple-double and the first since Shelden Williams in January 2006.BARRETT-OMETEROne brilliant 30-second stretch encapsulated the night for Barrett — who had six points and two steals in that span. First, he banked in a jumper. Then he stole a pass and went in for a dunk, but he wasn’t done: He then stole the ensuing inbounds pass and dunked to make it 43-16 and force Stetson into a timeout.JONES WATCHDon’t worry too much about freshman point guard Tre Jones going scoreless for the first time at Duke. While he missed his only shot, he played just 15 minutes and did have seven assists.SYMMETRYA bit of trivia from this result: Both the first and (for a few days, anyway) the most recent victories for Krzyzewski at Duke came almost exactly 38 years apart against Stetson. Coach K’s first Duke team beat the Hatters 67-49 on Nov. 29, 1980.RECORD WATCHDuke earned a line in the record book — the 64-point margin of victory was tied for the seventh-largest in program history, and this was the Blue Devils’ most lopsided win since last year’s 64-point rout of Evansville.UP NEXTStetson: Hosts Western Illinois on Wednesday night.Duke: Plays host to Hartford on Wednesday night.___More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25Joedy McCreary, The Associated Press

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