Duke vs. Kentucky score: No. 4 Blue Devils rout No. 2 Wildcats in easy Champions Classic win
Kentucky controlled the opening tip of its season-opener against No. 4 Duke in the Champions Classic, but it was one of the only things that fell its way on a night in which the game quickly went sideways for the second-ranked Wildcats in the Blue Devils’ 118-84 victory Tuesday
Duke rained shots down over and over again in a variety of ways, with a variety of players, all in equally demoralizing fashion in their surprising rout of the Wildcats.
Duke led by as many as 21 in the first half and it ballooned to 37 in the second half. The game was all but decided early in the second half, but it was Vince Carter gif level over by the time the Blue Devils had taken a 91-54 advantage behind a second consecutive Alex O’Connell made corner 3-pointer with 11:48 remaining in regulation.
Mostly it was sequences like this that continuously broke UK’s flow and spirit all in one fell swoop.
R.J. Barrett led all scorers with 33 points (he had 20 in the first half, played sparingly in the second half and sat the final four minutes). Co-stars Zion Williamson and Cameron Reddish added 28 and 22, respectively, to contribute to the blowout. Together they combined to go 30 of 53 from the floor and 8 of 16 from beyond the arc, in what was an otherwordly showing from one of the youngest teams in the sport.
One of the lone bright spots for Kentucky on the evening — and believe me, they were few and far between in what amounted to a brutal, unexpected beatdown on national television — was the consistent play it got from graduate transfer Reid Travis. He scored 22 and snatched seven rebounds in his first official showing as a Wildcat. Freshman Keldon Johnson brought a ton of energy and competitive spirit as a standout performer, too. He finished with a team-high 23 points on 8-of 16-shooting.
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