DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Pennsylvania coach Jerome Allen knew it would be tough for his undersized players to keep No. 7 Duke off the boards. He just wanted to see a little more fight from his players when boxing out.
With Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee getting double-doubles, the Blue Devils dominated the glass in their 85-55 win over the Quakers on Sunday. Duke finished with a 47-29 rebounding advantage, including 18 on the offensive glass to match Penn’s team total of defensive boards for the game.
In fact, Duke scored four baskets off offensive rebounds in the 20-4 game-opening run that put the Quakers in a hole. The Blue Devils finished with 21 second-chance points, marking the fourth straight game opponents have beaten Penn on the offensive glass.
During that stretch, opponents have outscored the Quakers almost 2-to-1 in second-chance points.
“We just didn’t get the job done,” Allen said. “You can’t expect to go on the road, whether it be Duke or any other place, and hope that teams give you opportunities to win.
“When you operate against a front line that’s 6-10, 6-11, if you don’t have a low center of gravity and if you don’t have a little umph, then more times than not they’re going to come up with the offensive rebound.”
Kelly had 18 points and 12 rebounds while Seth Curry added 15 points.
The Blue Devils (12-1) led by 18 points at halftime and by as many as 34 points after the break, earning their fifth straight victory overall and 43rd straight at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Zack Rosen had 11 points for the Quakers (6-8), who played the Blue Devils almost even for the rest of the half after the opening flurry.
Duke grabbed as many offensive boards (8) as Penn had total rebounds in the first 12 minutes. Duke had a 14-2 edge in second-chance points by then, starting when Kelly scored the game’s first basket in fitting fashion with a hook shot following a missed 3 from Curry.
Kelly followed that with a 3 during that opening spurt, which ended with Plumlee’s layup off a feed from Quinn Cook to make it 20-4 at the 13:50 mark. The Blue Devils scored on nine of 10 possessions.
By that point, it looked like Duke was on track to follow its 110-70 win against Western Michigan two days ago with another huge scoring day. But the Blue Devils slowed a bit and the Quakers finally settled in to hang around.
Penn had a chance to close within 15 points midway through the second half, but Miles Cartwright missed a wide-open 3 from the corner. The Blue Devils responded with a 3 from Andre Dawkins, followed by a jumper from Curry and finally a 3 from Curry off a feed from Dawkins to make it 60-34 with 12 minutes left.
Plumlee finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds for Duke, which shot 49 percent. The Blue Devils hit 9 of 20 3-pointers, with Kelly hitting all four of his tries and Curry knocking down three more.
Penn shot 36 percent, including 2 for 13 from behind the arc.
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