No. 4 Duke Cruises to Win Over No. 2 UK

Posted at 12:15 AM, Nov 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-07 00:15:25-05
Duke forward RJ Barrett (5) shoots around Kentucky forward Reid Travis (22) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Champions Classic in Indianapolis Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

No. 2 Kentucky was never really in the game against No. 4 Duke on Tuesday night in the Champions Classic in Indianapolis falling 118-84.

UK would start P.J. Washington, Reid Travis and three freshmen, Ashton Hagans, Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson.

The Blue Devils had a fast start thanks to three pointers from Tre Jones and Cam Reddish. But Keldon Johnson was on from the go for Kentucky hitting a lay-in, floater and a long two in transition. At the first media timeout, the Wildcats trailed 4-8.

Duke came out with a flurry of points. Tre Jones had a layup in transition, Marques Bolden had a rebound, putback and was fouled and R.J. Barrett had a slam on the break. UK trailed 20-8. After Tyler Herro free throws, Zion Williamson had a bucket and one, Jack White had a tip in and Barrett had an and one. The Blue Devils built a 27-10 lead.

Duke came out with a steal and Williamson on the finish for the slam. UK got it going. Johnson would hit a lay-up, Washington hit a three pointer and Keldon and Travis hit free throws to cut the lead to 34-29. A Travis and one would have UK down 36-22 at the under 8 minute timeout.

After a Keldon Johnson driving lay-up, UK was down just 12 when Barrett got a lay-in and three pointer. Williamson then had a drive, free throw and long two to give the Blue Devils a 50-33 lead with under four to play.

E.J. Montgomery would come on for Kentucky to score six quick points, two put-backs and a lay-up. Cats were down just 54-41. But, Duke got a free throw and alley-oop lay-in by Barrett for a 57-41 advantage.

Duke would lead 59-42 at the half with R.J. Barrett leading the way with 20 points. UK was led by Keldon Johnson’s 14 while Reid Travis had 8 and 4 rebounds. UK shot 1-10 from three point range and 15-21 from the free throw line.

The Blue Devils started the second half with a Avery Williamson post move and a Cam Reddish three pointer. Coach Calipari quickly called timeout.

Duke kept it going after the TO. A Montgomery bad pass led to a Reddish steal and slam. Keldon Johnson made up for that with a UK steal that led to a P.J. Washington slam. But Duke went on a 6-2 run with Barrett getting a lay-up. Duke led 72-47 with 15:49 left in the game.

Duke made it a 31 point lead as Zion Williamson led the break and had a tough bounce pass to Barrett for the lay-up and he was fouled. 78-47 Blue Devils.

Duke goes on to win 118-84. The 34 point loss is the worst in the John Calipari era.

UK was led by Keldon Johnson’s 23 while Reid Travis had 22 and 7 rebounds and Tyler Herro had some late buckets to finish with 14.

Duke was led by Barrett, who had 33 points in his debut, 4 rebounds and 6 assists. Zion Williamson added 28 points, 7 rebounds and Cam Reddish had 22.

The Wildcats return to Lexington to play their home opener on Friday against Southern Illinois at 7:00 PM.