CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN) - Zion Williamson had a double-double (29 points, 14 rebounds) in his return to action to lead Duke to an 84-72 win over Syracuse that sets up a third meeting between the Blue Devils and rival North Carolina.
Williamson took no time to find his game once he hit the floor for the first time since hurting his knee in the first minute of Duke's Feb. 20 meeting with the Tar Heels. The Spectrum Center exploded when he broke out alone in transition and threw down a one-handed dunk just over two minutes into the game.
The Blue Devil freshman finished with 29 points on a perfect 13-of-13 from the floor. Williamson wasn't the only one to show off his acrobatics. RJ Barrett had a pair of reel-worthy dunks late in the game.
With less than 10 minutes to play, Williamson blocked a shot and Barrett knocked down a 3-pointer at the other end. It gave the Blue Devils a 60-51 edge at the time, and while Syracuse did pull within five later on, Duke's lead was hardly threatened down the stretch.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Buddy Boeheim had knotted the game at 46 apiece with 13:02 left in the second half.
Barrett added 23 points for Duke. Tre Jones also had 15.
Tip-off Friday is slated for 9 p.m.