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08 November 2018, 09:56 | Charlene Valdez
Fantastic freshmen help No. 4 Duke blow out No. 2 Kentucky
It was the most lopsided defeat in coach John Calipari's tenure at Kentucky and marked the eighth time in 10 meetings the Blue Devils have beaten the Wildcats.
"They told us that every game we go to is going to be like that", freshman R.J. Barrett said of the leadership White and fellow captain Javin DeLaurier provided. In his 24 minutes of playing time, the 6-8 small forward scored 22 points on 6-of-14 shooting (3-of-8 from 3-point land), three assists, two rebounds and four steals.
Duke overwhelmed Kentucky from the game's opening tip, showing its offensive versatility and efficiency while building a 21-point lead before 10 minutes had been played. In fact, the Kentucky freshman finished just 1-for-6 from long range and 4-for-11 overall, ensuring Duke's early lead was never threatened due to hot shooting from the Wildcats.
And in just 23 minutes, Zion Williamson - who had to sit out much of the first half after picking up two quick fouls - finished with 28 points on a shooting performance that was almost flawless. Still, you can bet coach Mike Krzyzewski will try to fix his team's flaws and make Duke an even more hard matchup.
Kentucky shot only 44.1 percent from the field (26 of 59) and was just 4-for-17 from deep. The Wildcats were outscored 60-38 in the paint.
No other Duke basketball team in history has ever scored 118 points in a game that was played outside the friendly confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium (117 was the previous high, set by the 1988-89 squad during a win at Miami in which Danny Ferry scored a school-record 58 points).
Zion Williamson and fourth-ranked Duke were well on their way to a blowout victory when the high-flying freshman blocked a shot to start yet another Blue Devil fastbreak. The Blue Devils only committed four turnovers compared with Kentucky's 15. The Blue Devils have won 19 consecutive openers.
"I feel like as we mature we will be able to take blows like that (and come back)".
"It's tough when you go down like that", Travis said.
12-10 - Kentucky's lead in the all-time series with Duke.
"We really do care", Travis said. He's not going to shoot 11-of-13 from the floor every night.
Kentucky looks to rebound when it returns to Rupp Arena against Southern Illinois on Friday.
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