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Duke routs UNC-Asheville, 91-55

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Nothing has come easy at the start of Nick McDevitt's head coaching career at UNC Asheville.

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No. 6 Duke routed his Bulldogs 91-55 on Monday night in the opening round of the NIT Season Tip-Off.

That came 11 nights after then-No. 1 Kentucky pounded UNC Asheville in McDevitt's first game.

''I think if we were able to play Kansas, then I could tell you how all three of those freshmen can play,'' McDevitt quipped.

Sam Hughes scored 16 points for the Bulldogs (1-3). They shot 33 percent and never got closer than 18 points in the second half.

McDevitt was promoted during the offseason to replace his boss, longtime coach Eddie Biedenbach, after he left to join Buzz Petersen's staff at UNC Wilmington.

''To give yourself a chance against teams like that, you have to have everybody play well,'' McDevitt said, ''and we just didn't.''

David Robertson added 12 points for UNC Asheville, which made just its second visit to Cameron and first since 2008. The Bulldogs once again were without forward Will Weeks, who averages 13 points but missed his second straight game with a knee injury.

''We wanted to spread them and drive it,'' McDevitt said. ''We felt like the only way we could get any flow was to spread them.''

Jabari Parker had 21 points and 10 rebounds in his fourth straight 20-point game, for Duke.

His season-high six turnovers - he had a combined four in his first three games - were a product of his repeated attempts to pound the ball inside to his teammates.

And that's something Coach K can appreciate - to a point.

''A really good player isn't concerned about his points and he's looking for his teammates to maybe have a better night and give them some confidence,'' Krzyzewski said. ''For a freshman to do that is very good. Look, he's exceptional. What he tried to do tonight was OK.

''I'd rather have him shoot it, to be quite frank with you.''

Rodney Hood had 15 of his 18 points in the first half for the Blue Devils (3-1), who never trailed and shot 57 percent.

Duke held a 42-28 rebounding advantage, built a 20-point first-half lead and coasted to its 104th straight nonconference win at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

''We just tried to pressure them and make them play us one-on-one,'' Hood said.

Once again, Hood and Parker did most of the heavy lifting for Duke's offense. In all four games, the Blue Devils have been led in scoring by either Hood or Parker.

Hood was coming off a career-high 28-point performance last time out against Florida Atlantic. Also in that game, Parker became the first Duke freshman under Krzyzewski with at least 20 points in each of the first three games of his career.

Parker wasted little time making it four in a row, scoring 14 in the first half while finishing 8 of 13 from the field.

It's been hard for Krzyzewski to find much to quibble about with Parker's game - except, of course, for those turnovers.

The Blue Devils turned it over a season-worst 16 times, many on attempted passes inside, after giving it away a combined 23 times in their previous three games.

''Our strength is on the perimeter, and our strength is Jabari having the ball and doing something with it - for him,'' Krzyzewski said. ''I don't fault him for trying to get his teammates more involved. It's a good problem to have.''

Hood turned in several highlight-reel plays during his 6-for-8 night: His personal 7-0 run gave Duke its first 20-point lead.

Hood's jumper after a pretty behind-the-back dribble came two possessions before a posterizing dunk, and a 3-pointer from the corner made it 44-24 with just under 4 minutes before halftime.

Andre Dawkins had 13 points and Quinn Cook and freshman Semi Ojeleye added 10 apiece to help Duke improve to 23-2 in the preseason NIT.

The Blue Devils have won the tournament four times and two of those titles came during their most recent national championship seasons in 2000-01 and 2009-10.

Just as in the Blue Devils' previous two home games, they built such a big early lead that the drama-free second half afforded plenty of chances to show off. And no sequence was prettier than Parker's reverse dunk of Cook's open-court alley-oop feed with 12 1/2 minutes left.

---

Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joedyap

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
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