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No. 2 Duke pulls away for big win over Appalachian State

Sportsnaut
Dec 16, 2021; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Paolo Banchero (5) defends an inbound pass during the first half against the Appalachian State Mountaineers at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 16, 2021; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Paolo Banchero (5) defends an inbound pass during the first half against the Appalachian State Mountaineers at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Wendell Moore Jr. scored 21 points and five players for No. 2 Duke reached double figures as the Blue Devils pulled away for a 92-67 victory against visiting Appalachian State on Thursday night in Durham, N.C.

Paolo Banchero added 16 points, Trevor Keels and A.J. Griffin both had 11 points and Jeremy Roach supplied 10 points and six assists for Duke (9-1), which shot 56.9 percent from the field.

Michael Almonacy had a big first half, scoring all 17 of his points before the break for Appalachian State (6-6). Justin Forrest racked up 16 points, James Lewis Jr. had 11 points and Adrian Delph added 10 points for Appalachian State.

Appalachian State was within 55-50 early in the second half before consecutive 3-pointers from Griffin, Roach and Moore in a 52-second spree.

Duke’s reserves outscored Appalachian State’s backups by 28-7. The Blue Devils have scored more than 90 points in both games this week since returning from a two-week layoff.

Moore finished 4-for-4 on 3-point attempts.

Duke was up 50-37 courtesy of a 16-4 stretch to end the first half. The Blue Devils made 56 percent of their shots from the field in the half, connecting for six 3-point baskets.

Almonacy had 17 points less than 11 minutes into the game as the Mountaineers held a 24-23 lead.

The Blue Devils used a 7-0 run in a 51-second span for a 41-33 edge.

Appalachian State, which dropped to 0-3 in true road games, didn’t attempt a free throw in the opening half in the first meeting with Duke in five years. It ended up 11-for-15 on foul shots, while Duke was 11-for-13.

The Blue Devils improved to 9-1 all-time in the series.

This was the second game in a stretch of three games in a five-day span for Duke. Saturday’s scheduled matchup with Cleveland State has been scrapped because of COVID protocols involving Cleveland State, with Duke finding Loyola (Md.) as a replacement.

–Field Level Media