Trent, No. 4 Duke bounce back by routing Irish
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 30, 2018
DURHAM (AP) — After its lowest-scoring game of the season, No. 4 Duke had no trouble putting up points on Notre Dame.
Gary Trent Jr. scored 22 points and tied a season high with 10 rebounds, and the Blue Devils routed the Fighting Irish 88-66 on Monday night.
Grayson Allen scored 18 points, and Wendell Carter Jr. finished with 17 to help the Blue Devils (19-3, 7-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who shot nearly 55 percent after halftime and finished with 12 3-pointers.
They overcame a rare off night — by his high standards, anyway — from star freshman Marvin Bagley III, and bounced back from a two-point loss to No. 2 Virginia from what coach Mike Krzyzewski called “self-inflicted stuff.” Duke has yet to lose consecutive games this season.
“I’m not saying Virginia wasn’t worthy of winning, but we had a great shot at winning that game,” Krzyzewski said. “And you worry about a hangover where you’re still thinking about that. And that’s what we’ve tried to address for the last couple of days, and I thought our team did that.”
T.J. Gibbs scored 22 points and John Mooney added 14 with a career-high four 3-pointers for the injury-riddled Fighting Irish (13-9, 3-6), who have lost six straight.
Trent hit two of his six 3s and Carter scored eight points during a 28-4 run midway through the second half that broke the game open and put Duke up by 30.
“That offensive run they had in the second half, it kind of broke our back,” Irish coach Mike Brey said.
Bagley, the ACC’s leading scorer at 22 points per game, finished with 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting. It was his lowest-scoring game since No. 5 Michigan State held him to four points in the third game of his career.
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish are trying to ride out the wave of injuries that has derailed their promising season, with ACC preseason player of the year Bonzie Colson and guards Matt Farrell and D.J. Harvey all sidelined. They were competitive for about 30 minutes before coming away with their longest losing streak since the 2008-09 team dropped seven in a row.
“We’re trying to figure this thing out,” Brey said. “Maybe we’ll have a few bodies back for N.C. State. … We could use a couple more bodies back. Now you’ve got the back nine of the league.”
Duke: The Blue Devils got back to their high-scoring ways two nights after a 65-63 loss to the Cavaliers that set a season low for scoring by 15 points. All five starters reached double figures for a team that slipped to No. 2 nationally with 90.3 points per game, a fraction of a point behind 12th-ranked Oklahoma.
Bagley went 21 minutes between field goals. He made his first shot 20 seconds in, but didn’t even attempt one in the final 13 minutes of the first half before throwing down an alley-oop from Duval 90 seconds into the second half.
“I thought he played well,” Krzyzewski said. “He didn’t play great. We’re all accustomed to great.”
Krzyzewski was criticized for his refusal to use his bench in the Virginia loss — the reserves combined to play six minutes in that one, and Duke used no subs in the second half. Little-used Jack White came in midway through the first half Monday and immediately made things happen.
The sophomore from Australia threw down an authoritative putback dunk off Allen’s missed 3-pointer, then grabbed a tough rebound that directly led to one of Trent’s 3s. Later, his tough rebound set up another 3 from Trent — and earned him a midcourt backslap from Coach K — and a 3-pointer of his own put Duke up by 20 for the first time, prompting the Cameron Crazies to chant his name.
Trent hit six 3s for the fourth time, and all of them have come against ACC opponents.
He said it
“There’s nothing like it” — White, on hearing the students chant his name.
Notre Dame: Returns to the North Carolina Triangle on Saturday to face N.C. State.
Duke: Steps out of ACC play to take on St. John’s on Saturday in Madison Square Garden.