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Duke Crushes Wake Forest, 69-46

Slow start, fast finish

Pittsburgh v Duke
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 20: The mascot of the Duke Blue Devils looks on prior to their game against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 20, 2024 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Duke had a slow start against Wake Forest Thursday night, falling behind in the first quarter 19-6.

But that was about it for Wake Forest. Duke took the second quarter 14-8 and the halftime score was 27-20.

And Duke just crushed the Demon Deacons in the third, 25-5 and owned the fourth too, 24-14 to put together a 69-46 win.

Duke ultimately outscored the Deacs in the second half 49-19 which is pretty darn good.

In the first half, Duke shot 9-22 which was not awful (at 3-9, the first quarter was not overly impressive though).

In the third quarter, however, Duke shot 9-12 and in the fourth, they hit 9-16.

The Blue Devils forced 23 turnovers and limited the Deacs to 14-42 and of those 28 misses, Wake only had a second chance on six of them.

This was another impressive game by a young team that has had some growing pains this year. Afterwards, coach Kara Lawson said this:

“You know, proud of our second half. Obviously in the first half there were a lot of issues, and all credit goes to Wake Forest for creating those issues for us. We were undisciplined defensively. They did a good job of disrupting us. We had 13 turnovers there and then in that first half they were lights out from the three to go six-for-six. And so, that happens....

“We had kind of got a little traction in scoring at the end of the second and then we were able to have those 15 minutes to settle in and strategically just talk about what we wanted to do, how we can do better. And they came out in the third quarter and almost 50-point, second half. So, I’m proud of that.

“I mean, listen, as a coach, you’d love to play four great quarters 18 times. It’s not going to be that and what you’re looking for is a response. And I say this a lot like an individual response to a bad quarter, a bad half or a bad play, and then a team-wide response to a bad quarter and bad half. And we had that response.

“And so that’s valuable that we’re a team that has that type of ability.”

With the win, Duke moves to 15-7 and 7-4 in the ACC, good for a three-way tie for sixth.