• 50°

Even without Jones, Blue Devils have no problem with Wofford

Duke rolls past the Terriers

Wofford’s Chevez Goodwin, right, attempts a shot as Duke’s Vernon Carey Jr. defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)

By Aaron Beard

AP Basketball Writer

DURHAM (AP) — It was only a few months ago that Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski wasn’t sure how much playing time Joey Baker could earn this season on a deep roster.

If he keeps shooting like this, he won’t have any problems finding that time on the court.

Baker had career highs of 22 points and five 3-pointers to help the fourth-ranked Blue Devils beat Wofford 86-57 on Thursday night, with all of his field goals coming after halftime.

The 6-foot-7 sophomore missed his only two shots of the first half but made 6 of 9 after halftime, with 5 of 6 coming from behind the arc — some with a defender within arm’s reach. The Blue Devils used his confident stroke to stretch their lead to blowout territory.

The flurry had Duke’s “Cameron Crazies” chanting his name.

“You definitely feed off of that,” Baker said. “But in the moment, you’re just worried about next play, getting the stop and getting the win.”

Vernon Carey Jr. added 20 points and 10 rebounds for Duke (10-1), which shot 54% in its return from a nearly two-week pause in the schedule. The Blue Devils played without starting point guard Tre Jones due to what the school described as a “mild sprain” in his left foot from a recent practice.

That meant the Blue Devils were subbing a lot and giving different looks without their floor leader, but it didn’t keep Duke from a lopsided win over a Wofford team that beat North Carolina over the weekend.

The 6-10 Carey scored over defenders and off the glass, and Baker got hot after a five-point first half. Baker’s night was highlighted by two 3-pointers to give Duke a 52-30 lead with 14:17 left that led the Terriers to call a timeout in a game that had already gotten away.

Then came another impressive burst, first with Baker taking a confident pump-fake and side-step left to hit a 3-pointer against Zion Richardson. Then came one over the outstretched arm of Donovan Theme-Love to make it 72-45 at the 6-minute mark.

“In September, I wasn’t sure how much Joey could play,” Krzyzewski said. “And Joey has come every day in practice, and he shoots game shots, even when he’s just shooting. He’s become our quickest shooter and most accurate shooter.”

Tray Hollowell scored 17 points to lead the Terriers (7-5). They shot just 35.5% despite hitting 10 3-pointers. Coach Jay McAuley said the Blue Devils’ pressure defense had the Terriers playing faster than they wanted.

“It won’t be the last time teams pressure us or try to do some things to take away some options that we have,” McAuley said. “Some of our guys I thought handled it really well … and some of our older guys just kind of got a little sped up trying to do too much.”

•••

BIG PICTURE

Wofford: The Terriers were chasing a memorable two-game stretch in the state of North Carolina. The Terriers beat the Tar Heels on Sunday in Carmichael Arena, North Carolina’s former campus home that was hosting its first regular-season game since 1986. But they didn’t fare nearly as well in Duke’s venerable Cameron Indoor Stadium, seeing a 16-15 deficit balloon as Duke took over with a 10-0 run.

Duke: The Blue Devils got a look at how they’d play without Jones, their floor leader who provides a consistent defensive pressure on the ball. Jones had averaged 37.3 minutes per game when factoring out a 9-minute showing after being shaken up during a first-half collision against Central Arkansas on Nov. 12. Jordan Goldwire started at the point and finished with eight points and five assists with no turnovers in 28 minutes.

•••

MORE ON JONES

Krzyzewski said Jones would have played had it been an Atlantic Coast Conference game.

“It’s better with this break just to get well,” Krzyzewski said. “He’ll be back and he’ll play right away. So we’re not hiding anything or anything like that.”

•••

UP NEXT

Wofford: The Terriers visit Kennesaw State on Sunday.

Duke: The Blue Devils have another extended break and don’t play again until hosting Brown on Dec. 28.

•••

___

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

___

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

Comments

Elections

Biden officially secures enough electors to become president

Crime

Ex-investment manager accused of defrauding NC Mutual Life Insurance Co. out of $34 million

News

NC Senate leader Berger names chief of staff

Nation/World

Two men found dead at Fort Bragg identified; no details on cause released

Nation/World

Most American troops leaving Somalia

Health

As hospitals cope with a COVID-19 surge, cyber threats also a concern

Coronavirus

Two COVID-19 deaths reported at Meadows of Rockwell, one at Autumn Care nursing home

Crime

Halifax County man charged in Rockwell vehicle break-ins

Coronavirus

Judge names third-party expert to scrutinize COVID-19, closures in NC prisons

Crime

Durham man charged, held in Rowan after three-county chase

Education

North Rowan High School pantry opens for students

Coronavirus

State officials reluctant to add new restrictions

Business

Warner Bros. will stream all 2021 films on HBO Max

Business

Artist paints new sign on recently renovated Barnhardt Jewelers building

News

Cooper eyes bipartisan panel on health care

Elections

Hand recount in NC chief justice race set to begin next week

Local

Public input scheduled, changes to downtown coming as part of Main Street plan

Nation/World

Optimism growing for COVID relief bill

Local

Spencer nails down plans for Christmas drive-in

Crime

Blotter: Man arrested for probation violation faces charges for bringing drugs into jail

Crime

Three charged with drug, weapons offenses following a traffic stop

Coronavirus

County, state set new records for COVID-19 as growing positivity rate signals ‘critical levels’ of community spread

China Grove

Growing greens: Main Street Marketplace hopes hydroponic garden will help organization grow

Education

State Board of Education delays decisions on Faith Academy, East Spencer charter school