DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Zion Williamson scored 21 points, fellow freshman RJ Barrett added 20 and No. 1 Duke routed Eastern Michigan 84-46 on Wednesday night in its first game this season as the nation’s top-ranked team.
Javin DeLaurier and Jack White added 10 points apiece for the Blue Devils (3-0).
Playing two days after leapfrogging Kansas for the top spot in the AP Top 25, Duke looked every bit the part of a top-ranked team — shooting 47 percent, turning 20 turnovers by the Eagles into 31 points and taking command with an early 21-1 run keyed by an assortment of dunks by Williamson.
Damari Parris had nine points to lead outmanned Eastern Michigan (3-1), which shot 31 percent and was stuck in single-digit scoring for about 17 ½ minutes.
Unlike their last game — in which Army hung with them for about 30 minutes three days earlier — the Blue Devils took the drama out of this one early.
Williamson put Duke up by 20 for good midway through the first half with the highlight of the night — leaping so high to pull in a seemingly errant alley-oop pass that his armpits were even with the rim before he dunked — and Barrett made it a 30-point game with a bucket with about five minutes before halftime.
Eastern Michigan: Not surprisingly, the Eagles threw a 2-3 zone defense at the Blue Devils — coach Rob Murphy spent seven years on the Syracuse staff with zone savant Jim Boeheim. It wasn’t much of an impediment to the nation’s top-ranked team, though that seems insignificant in the long run because nobody in the Mid-American Conference will match Duke’s talent level.
Duke: Being No. 1 is nothing new for the Duke program — the Blue Devils started the two previous seasons in the top spot — but it’s a new experience for these freshmen. Not that they seem affected in the slightest. Williamson has scored at least 20 points in all three games while making 32 of his 39 shots.