Sports

Williamson, Barrett lead Duke to easy win over Indiana

Duke forward Zion Williamson (1) is all alone as he goes in for a first half dunk over Indiana at Cameron Indoor Stadium In Durham, N.C. Tuesday, November 27, 2018.
Duke forward Zion Williamson (1) is all alone as he goes in for a first half dunk over Indiana at Cameron Indoor Stadium In Durham, N.C. Tuesday, November 27, 2018. cliddy@newsobserver.com

Last week’s loss to Gonzaga cost Duke the nation’s top ranking but the Blue Devils showed Tuesday night they are more than capable of earning it back.

No. 3 Duke took control of its game against Indiana early building a 24-point halftime lead and coasting to a 90-69 win over the Hoosiers at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

After suffering their first loss, an 89-87 decision to now No. 1 Gonzaga last Wednesday at the Maui Invitational, the Blue Devils (6-1) continued their dominance against non-conference teams at home. Duke hasn’t lost to a non-ACC foe on its home court since February 26, 2000, a streak of 142 consecutive wins.

Zion Williamson scored 19 first-half points on the way to 25 points. The powerful 6-7 freshman forward added six rebounds and four assists.

Duke freshman R.J. Barrett scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds before fouling out. Freshman point guard Tre Jones scored 15 points and led the team with eight assists as Duke shot 52 percent.

Indiana (5-2) entered the game shooting 55.1 percent as a team for the season. But the Hoosiers struggled on offense against Duke’s pressure defense, which included some full-court pressing.

Indiana shot 38 percent and turned the ball over 20 times.

Freshman Romeo Langford made just 3 of 15 shots while scoring 11 points.

Indiana got off to a slow start in the first half, allowing Duke to take control in the first half and build a 53-29 halftime lead.

The Hoosiers made only 11 of 33 first half shots, including 3 of 10 on 3-pointers.

Duke’s full-court pressure defense caused Indiana to turn the ball over four times over the game’s first four minutes with Duke recording four steals.

Duke lead 11-4 and pushed its advantage to 22-10 at 13:20 when Jack White hit the second of his 3-pointers.

Nine minutes into the game, Indiana had made just 5 of 17 shots while turning the ball over seven times.

Duke could have pushed its lead past 20 points far earlier in the half it had shot free throws well. The Blue Devils made just three of their first 10 free throws, which allowed Indiana to tread water and trail 40-28 after an Evan Fitzner 3-pointer with 3:11 left in the half.

But that was the last field goal the Hoosiers made in the first half.

Duke took advantage, closing the half on a 13-1 run to lead 53-29 at intermission.

Williamson scored Duke’s final two field goals of the half, driving for a reverse layup at 1:04. After White hit two free throws, Williamson’s layup with five seconds left gave him a team-best 19 points as the teams went to their locker rooms.

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