Another overmatched opponent.
Another lopsided score.
At least on Friday, it counted.
Duke dominated Marist at Cameron Indoor Stadium, 94-49, winning its 17th straight season opener.
Playing without three of their top freshmen, the Blue Devils played unselfishly and divided time pretty evenly among the best players available.
Nine players had at least 12 minutes, led by guard Luke Kennard with 29. Freshman guard Frank Jackson led all with 18 points, four steals and four assists.
The group that premiered in Duke’s 2016-17 had a steady flow on both ends, creating opportunities for each other.
Duke (1-0) started on a 14-0 run and held the visitors from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to 23.1 percent shooting by using a full-court press and man coverages. Marist (0-1) didn’t score in the last 2 minutes and 36 seconds of the first half.
Senior Matt Jones and sophomore Chase Jeter, both starters, contributed their share of dirty work – Jones on defense and Jeter in the post. Jeter, who had 11 points and eight rebounds, managed a putback over Marist’s double team to give Duke an 18-4 lead with 14:15 in the first half. Jones, who was second on the team with three steals, made his first three 3-pointers of the night, and later slammed down a transition dunk – one of a couple after the break – to give Duke a 77-35 lead with 10:27 left in the game.
The Red Foxes saw a short spark in offense when they executed a few scoring chances in transition.
The effort was shortlived, as Duke didn’t skip a beat offensively. Kennard fired a stepback jumper for a 35-17 lead midway through the first half.
The Blue Devils put their bodies on the line in the name of their teammates’ success in the opener, too.
Jones broke up a dribble with 1:06 left in the first half, and Grayson Allen came away with the steal.
Graduate student Amile Jefferson smacked down a block and drew a flagrant foul with less than 32 seconds left in the first half.
Allen, who swatted a Marist shot on one end and came down to score a corner 3 in the first half, put in 16 points to match Kennard in a balanced scoring attack. Early in the second half, Jeter finished Allen’s over-the-shoulder pass with a dunk, which unleashed Duke’s second-half clinic.
Jessika Morgan: 919-829-4538, @JessikaMorgan