JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Quick impressions of the first half between Duke and California, which the Blue Devils lead 37-24:
Cal was hanging around, trailing just 20-17 until Duke went on a big run to close the half. The Blue Devils have succeeded in their main goal of forcing the Golden Bears to execute in the half court, as they've given up no fast-break points so far. They especially limited Cal's transition opportunities in the final minutes of the half, which helped them go on their run.
Nolan Smith had a terrific first half. Not only does he have 11 points, but he's done a solid job defending against Cal's leading scorer, Jerome Randle. Smith kept Randle from getting a clean look just before halftime and was nearly mobbed by teammates coming off the floor on the way to the locker room. It's safe to say Duke has all the momentum here right now.
Cal loves to shoot from deep and needs to hit a bunch of threes to have a chance, but it was just 1-for-6 behind the arc in the first half as Duke did a good job closing out on shooters. The Blue Devils, meanwhile, have shot an even 50 percent and are exploiting their size advantage inside.