Luke Kennard scored 21 points in the fifth-ranked Blue Devils' 72-61 victory over Elon on Wednesday night.GREENSBORO, N.C. --
Duke (12-1) trailed 35-34 at halftime before rallying for its 10th straight win in its final game before starting Atlantic Coast Conference play.
Brian Dawkins scored 18 points for the Phoenix (7-5).
Duke: While Kennard continued his high-scoring ways, freshman Jayson Tatum scored 18 points, though he shot just 7 of 22 from the field. Still, he had eight rebounds, four blocks and two steals in 37 minutes, part of a freshman class that's only now starting to get healthy.
Elon: The Phoenix had plenty of reason to feel good about much of the game. Elon shot just 39 percent in the first half but went 7 of 14 from 3-point range to lead at halftime, then kept hanging around for much of the second half before Duke finally began to stretch its lead as the game went on.
"I thought defensively we played to get stops rather than to do what Coach says," Matheny said of the first half. "That's a credit to our players. I felt we made things challenging for them. ... And I thought for the most part we didn't give them anything for free."
Another touted freshman, Harry Giles, scored his first college point on a second-half free throw. He had missed the first 11 games as he recovers from an arthroscopic knee procedure in preseason.
The 6-foot-10 forward made his college debut Monday against Tennessee State, then missed his only two shots and had two rebounds in 6 minutes against Elon.