Oni Leads Bulldogs With 12 Points, Nine Rebounds, Five Assists
DURHAM, N.C. – There is little doubt that Duke features one of the top first-year classes in all of college basketball. The talent was on full display against Yale on Saturday. Rookies RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish combined for 60 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists as the Blue Devils, ranked third in the nation, topped the Bulldogs 91-58.
The atmosphere at Cameron Indoor Stadium was electric. There was a full house of 9,314 in attendance, including a jam-packed student section that was in their seats a full 90 minutes before tip.
"I told Coach [Mike] Krzyzewski before the game that what he has created down here is nothing short of tremendous," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "It is kind of an American icon, this arena and how the game is played and the fans and how they're into every single possession and every second. It's a wonderful experience for our guys to be a part of."
The Bulldogs (4-3) stayed within striking distance of the Blue Devils for most of the first 30 minutes. Yale had a 22-21 lead with eight minutes left in the first half. Duke, though, answered with a 13-1 run.
The Blue Devils' lead was 41-32 at halftime. The Bulldogs got as close as eight early in the second half before Duke pulled away late.
Krzyzewski, who has guided the Blue Devils to five national championships, was impressed with Yale.
"We beat a really good team tonight. They're very well-coached—not just well-coached, very well-coached," he said. "They have a veteran team. They have seven kids that have been starters. They're a good group. I thought our ball pressure, picking them up early, just pushed them out a little bit further from where they normally start their offense."
Duke forced Yale into 23 turnovers, which the Blue Devils turned into 24 points.
"They went on a couple of runs because of our lack of poise and composure," Jones said. "You look at the score, and I don't know that it was completely indicative about how the game was played, but we certainly could have been better in the last 10 minutes, and that's something we need to learn from."
Barrett paced Duke (9-1) with 30 points, Williamson added 20 and Reddish scored 10.
The game was a homecoming for Yale's Trey Phills, a Charlotte, N.C., native. He had a number of family and friends in attendance.
NOTES: Paul Atkinson scored eight points off the bench for the Bulldogs, and Jordan Bruner had seven points, eight rebounds and three assists… Duke has now won 137 straight non-conference games against unranked opponents at Cameron and has a 525-64 record under Krzyzewski in the famed arena… The Bulldogs last played at Duke in the 2015-16 season when they dropped an 80-61 decision… Yale went on to win the Ivy League championship that year and beat Baylor in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Duke 71-64 in the second round in a second meeting… Yale will fly home on Sunday and has a home date with Albany on Tuesday. Tipoff at the John J. Lee Amphitheater is slated for 7 p.m.
Report filed by Tim Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity