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Duke dumps Wisconsin in top-5 showdown

The Sports Xchange MADISON -- Youth trumped experience as a freshman-laden Duke squad bested a veteran Wisconsin team Wednesday. Freshman guard Tyus Jones scored a team-high 22 points, pacing the fourth-ranked Blue Devils to a 80-70 win over the ...

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Wisconsin Badgers forward Frank Kaminsky (44) fights for a rebound as his team plays the Duke Blue Devils during the first half Wednesday night at the Kohl Center. (Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports)

The Sports Xchange

 

MADISON - Youth trumped experience as a freshman-laden Duke squad bested a veteran Wisconsin team Wednesday.

Freshman guard Tyus Jones scored a team-high 22 points, pacing the fourth-ranked Blue Devils to a 80-70 win over the second-ranked Badgers in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge game at Kohl Center.

Jones, center Jahlil Okafor and forward Justise Winslow are freshman starters in Duke’s lineup. It was the first true road test for the Blue Devils and their rookies in a loud, hostile environment.

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“We’re about as young as we’ve ever been, really, probably since my third year,” said Mike Krzyzewski, the head coach at Duke for 36 seasons. “They didn’t look like freshmen tonight. I think we beat one of the two or three best teams in the country.”

The Blue Devils (8-0) shot a blistering 65.2 percent (30 of 46) from the field to hand the Badgers (7-1) their first loss of the season.

Okafor added nine of his 13 points in the second half after struggling early for the Blue Devils, who got double-digit scoring from four players. Duke shot 58.3 percent from 3-point range.

Duke also got a boost with 21 points from the bench, including 14 from reserve guard Rasheed Sulaimon.

Senior guard Traevon Jackson scored a career-high 25 points on 7-of-12 shooting for Wisconsin, which shot 40.7 percent overall.

Jackson made two free throws to pull Wisconsin within 63-60 with 5:06 left, but the Badgers couldn’t stop hot-shooting Duke down the stretch.

“They were lights out,” Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. “They were shooting it well. Offensively, we were trying to find ourselves. We finally started to get some things going by penetration and finding open people, but it was a struggle.

“They’re better than us right now, there’s no question. If you’re playing from behind, and you’re us playing from behind against Duke -- that’s pretty difficult.”

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Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky, who was double-teamed in the low post early before the Blue Devils switched different defenders on the 7-footer, scored 17 points on 5-of-12 shooting. He also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.

Krzyzewski said the Blue Devils found success containing the Badgers when they switched defenders on the entire lineup.

“Kaminksy and Jahlil kind of nullify each other because there’s so much attention for both of them,” Krzyzewski said. “I can’t say enough about Jackson, though. I thought our switching and the intensity with we which we played defense was the major factor in us winning.”

A sluggish start by Wisconsin and consistent shooting from Duke led the Blue Devils to a 35-32 halftime lead.

Jones scored eight first-half points, including back-to-back 3-pointers with less than two minutes left before the break.

Guard Quinn Cook came off the bench and added eight first-half points for the Blue Devils. Okafor, who averaged 22.5 points over the previous two games, scored four points prior to intermission, as he was limited due to two fouls.

Kaminsky and Jackson scored eight points each to pace Wisconsin in the opening half.

Wisconsin guard Sam Dekker, who entered the game averaging 13.6 points, finished with five points on 2-of-5 shooting. Dekker, a junior who didn’t attempt a shot over the final 16 minutes of the game, was limited in practice this week to rest an ankle. Dekker sustained the injury in late October.

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BADGER BITS: Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan are two of six active coaches with 700 or more career wins. ... The teams played for the third time, though it was the first meeting since a 73-69 Wisconsin victory on Dec. 2, 2009. ... Wisconsin travels to Milwaukee to play Marquette on Saturday. ... Duke returns home to play host to Elon College on Dec. 15.

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