Very seldom did two things look the same from Duke in its exhibition finale.
Duke tested out several different lineups and defenses in its 98-45 win over Augustana (South Dakota) Friday at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils prevented the defending NCAA Division II champions from scoring until the 15:50 mark of the first half.
The Vikings struggled early to penetrate Duke’s zone and to control the ball against man pressure. Augustana committed 22 turnovers with the help of Duke’s 18 steals. The Blue Devils, led in steals by Matt Jones (six), scored 22 points off turnovers in the first half.
Five Blue Devils split the responsibility of bringing the ball up the court, and they saw at times four guards on the floor in a small lineup. In the second half, forwards Javin DeLaurier, Jack White and Justin Robinson shared the floor with center Antonio Vrankovic and guard Frank Jackson.
Big man Marques Bolden, one of three from the top-ranked freshman class who didn’t play, sat in warm-up clothes all night, so Chase Jeter and Amile Jefferson shouldered the responsibilities inside. They both finished rebounding in double figures; Jefferson led with 14 followed by Jeter with 12 to complete his double-double (15 points).
The pair was forceful when working together.
With 9:39 showing in the first half, Jefferson scored a layup in transition after a block on the other end. After the block, he and Jeter – hands up – smothered the ball handler to force the turnover.
Duke held off Augustana for nearly seven minutes, the Vikings breaking up the drought with their first 3-pointer of the night at 7:25.
The Blue Devils got in the double bonus in the first half, shooting 73.1 percent from the free throw line (19-of-26) by halftime. They used their awareness and body control to pick up some of the contact. With 32 seconds left, Duke junior Grayson Allen released a quick shot off the inbounds pass because a defender had his arm around Allen.
Allen wasn’t shy in attacking the rim. He even met the floor when trying to help Jones up after Jones fell into press row in the first half.
Jones, who exited the first exhibition game early, led the team with 28 minutes.
Jessika Morgan: 919-829-4538, @JessikaMorgan