College Basketball: Duke 115, Livingstone 58
From staff reports
Livingstone opened the basketball season with a 115-58 exhibition loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Tuesday that was mostly a non-stop spree of Duke dunks and 3-pointers.
“You always hear about the atmosphere here and to have an opportunity to witness it first-hand, with the caliber of play, the fans, and the environment — it was great,” Livingstone coach James Stinson said.
It was 11-2. Then it was 26-5. Then 35-7. Then 56-14, at halftime.
The lopsided setback was not unexpected. Livingstone lost one of the top backcourts in Division II after its stellar 2013-14 season, while Duke has nine McDonald’s All-Americans on the roster and is ranked fourth nationally in the preseason poll.
“Our expectations were to try to be competitive and play hard, but that’s a great basketball team,” Stinson said. “Our guys are humbled now, very much humbled, but coming off the season some of them had, that’s a good thing.”
Duke put seven players in double figures. Freshman Justise Winslow had 19 points, Matt Jones hit five 3-pointers and scored 17, while 6-foot-11 freshman Jahlil Okafor, the ACC preseason player of the year, had 15 points.
“He is as advertised,” Stinson said.
Cornelius Johnson, a frontcourt veteran, scored 12 points to lead the Blue Bears. Newcomer Ty Newman and returning post player Chris Henry scored eight each. Shawn Jackson and Demarco Sanders added seven apiece.
Livingstone’s most highly regarded returners are preseason All-CIAA picks Eric DuBose, a talented guard, and Eric Mayo, an athletic but undersized forward. DuBose had five assists and Mayo had five rebounds, but they combined for only seven points.
Duke committed 11 turnovers while Livingstone had 21.
“That didn’t help,” Stinson said.
The Blue Devils connected on 15 3-pointers and enjoyed a huge edge at the foul line. Duke shot 32-for-40 on free throws, while the Blue Bears were 3-for-8. Livingstone shot a respectable 41 percent from the field, but Duke shot 53 percent.
“This was a blessing for us, and it’s not the final game of the year, it’s only the beginning,” Stinson said. “It’s an exhibition and it showed us where we have to make sure we get better. I told our guys not to look at the scoreboard — just look at what we’re doing offensively and defensively.”
basketball writer Bret Strelow
contributed to this report.
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