Mason Plumlee scored 19 points and freshmen Amile Jefferson and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 25 points to lead Duke to a 69-45 exhibition win over Winston-Salem State Thursday evening at Cameron Indoor Stadium.DURHAM, N.C. – Senior forward
Plumlee also reached double figures in the rebound column while registering 7-for-7 shooting from the field. Jefferson tallied 13 points, five boards and a block, and fellow rookie Sulaimon went 4-for-8 from the floor in the first half on his way to a 12-point output.
Sophomore guard Quinn Cook scored four of the Blue Devils’ first six points of the contest, including a layup off a Plumlee steal in the early minutes. Freshman Alex Murphy took a turnover by the Rams the other way for a dunk, and Cook added a wide open trey a short while later, keying a 13-2 run by the squad.
Strong play at both ends of the floor helped Duke widen its lead to 27-10 with five minutes remaining in the half. Plumlee and senior forward Ryan Kelly each notched a pair of blocks, and the Blue Devils held Winston-Salem State to just one field goal over the final 10 minutes of the period to send Duke into the locker room at halftime with a 36-13 advantage.
Plumlee led all players at the break with 11 points on 5-for-5 shooting from the field. The senior forward also grabbed six boards over the first 12 minutes of action, and Sulaimon added eight points and an assist. The Blue Devils shot 42.1 percent (16-of-38) from the floor and went 3-for-5 at the free throw line in the opening half.
A tip-in by Plumlee three minutes into the second period pushed Duke’s lead to 42-17. Winston-Salem State’s Justin Glover hit a three-pointer with 13:45 remaining and Joe Thompson added a layup on the next possession to pull the Rams within 21, but that was the closest the visiting squad would come to closing the deficit during the second half.
Jefferson reached double-digit scoring midway through the period, converting a three-point play after Sulaimon found him under the basket for a layup. The Blue Devils also continued to play aggressively on defense, forcing six more turnovers by the Rams.
Sulaimon drove through the lane for wide-open look with 6:58 to go, and junior guard Seth Curry sank a layup less than a minute later to give Duke its largest lead of the night at 61-32. Curry came off the bench to contribute four points, two steals and an assist after sitting out the season-opening Blue-White game and the Blue Devils’ first exhibition contest against Western Washington.
Cook finished with nine points, while Kelly added five points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Junior Josh Hairston and grabbed six and five boards, respectively, and junior Tyler Thornton went 4-for-4 at the charity stripe to end the night with four points.
As a team, Duke shot 39.1 percent from the floor and went 18-for-24 at the free throw line.
Wykevin Bazemore paced the Rams with 11 points and a game-high 17 rebounds, while Glover finished with nine points and eight boards. Thompson added five points and two steals for Winston-Salem State.
The Blue Devils open their regular season on Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. when they host Georgia State in Cameron. That game will be broadcast on ESPNU.