Moore, Banchero help No. 9 Duke top Army 82-56 in home debut

ACC Basketball

Duke’s Jeremy Roach (3) is defended by Army’s Aaron Duhart (23) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)

Touchdown Friday

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Wendell Moore Jr. had a triple-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to help ninth-ranked Duke beat Army 82-56 in Friday night’s home opener, backed by the return of the Blue Devils’ famously rowdy fans for the first time in a regular-season game in more than 20 months.

Freshman Paolo Banchero added 18 points for the Blue Devils (2-0), who were coming off Tuesday’s season-opening win against No. 10 Kentucky in New York. That was the first game of the final season for Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, who plans to retire after the season and hand off to associate head coach Jon Scheyer as his successor.

Duke jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never trailed, but had issues stretching out a big lead on the pesky Black Knights (1-1) before stretching it out late.

Jalen Rucker scored 19 points to lead Army, which pushed back with nine straight points after Duke’s early run and trailed by between seven and 15 points before the Blue Devils finally stretched it out beyond 20 points in the final 5 minutes.

The night itself, though was more about a familiar feel for home games with the return of the “Cameron Crazies” — and Duke’s longstanding homecourt edge — after a season spent struggling without it. It also marked the beginning of a season-long farewell in Durham to Krzyzewski, who was facing his alma mater and the program he led before taking over at Duke in 1980.

BIG PICTURE

Army: Picked to finish fourth in the Patriot League, Army hung around with Duke much of the way, both in turning away Duke’s mini-bursts but also in its inability to seriously cut into the deficit after halftime. The Black Knights shot 39% and made just 5 of 22 3-pointers, while committing 21 turnovers that led to 27 points for the Blue Devils.

Duke: The Blue Devils opened the year by beating the Wildcats in Madison Square Garden behind big performances from freshman Trevor Keels and Banchero (22 points). Banchero had a strong start in his regular-season home debut and had 12 rebounds, while Moore’s performance was a welcome sign for a veteran who had some struggles last year.

UP NEXT

Army: Face Hartford on Saturday as part of the Duke Veterans Day Weekend Showcase.

Duke: Host Campbell on Saturday as host of the same weekend event.

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