Ingram scores 15, leads No. 6 Duke past pesky Yale 80-61


Duke turns away Yale

Grayson Allen records 14 points and five rebounds in No. 6 Duke's 80-61 victory over Yale.

DURHAM, N.C. -- When No. 6 Duke needed a spark, the Blue Devils asked their longest, most athletic freshman to spread his arms on defense and create some havoc.

Brandon Ingram scored 15 points and played a key role in the defensive switch that helped Duke pull away and beat Yale 80-61 on Wednesday night.

Matt Jones had 17 points and Grayson Allen scored 14 for the Blue Devils (5-1), who jumped into a 1-3-1 zone defense -- with the 6-foot-9 Ingram as the front man -- to shake off a lethargic start.

"If you're going to throw it over the top of him, you're going to throw it way too high," Allen said. "And trying to throw around him is a really difficult task. He's a problem up there when he stays active."

Freshman Luke Kennard finished with 12 points for the Blue Devils, who finally took control with a 17-2 run during a 5 1/2-minute span that bridged the halves. Duke outscored Yale 42-25 in the second half.

"We needed a pop from Brandon and Luke," coach Mike Krzyzewski said, "and I think we got it tonight."

Justin Sears scored 19 points and Makai Mason had 13 points for the Bulldogs (3-2). The preseason favorites in the Ivy League led for all but 90 seconds of the first half but shot just 30 percent after the break.

"I thought there were times where we didn't make good decisions against" the zone, Yale coach James Jones said. "We had some really good shots that didn't go down. ... If you make the shots, it's a whole different ballgame."

The clear difference was Duke's switch late in the first half to that zone defense with Ingram disrupting Yale's ballhandlers, getting his 7-3 wingspan into passing lanes and pestering the perimeter shooters.

Yale, which shoots 40 percent from 3-point range, was just 4 of 15 in this one. Duke finished with 12 steals and forced 13 turnovers, turning them into 16 points.

That defensive pressure sparked the game-turning run, with the zone forcing turnovers on consecutive trips down court that Duke turned into transition buckets.

Ingram later took a steal coast to coast for a layup that gave the Blue Devils their first double-figure lead at 48-38 with 16:43 to play. Allen capped the decisive run with a layup on the next possession.

They eventually pulled away, pushing the lead into the 20s on a jumper with 2 1/2 minutes left by Amile Jefferson, who finished with 12 rebounds.


Allen was due for a step back on the stat sheet. He was coming off consecutive 30-point games at Madison Square Garden, scoring 30 against Virginia Commonwealth and a career-best 32 two nights later against Georgetown. In this one, Allen was 4 of 10 from the field and 6 for 6 at the line.


Yale owned virtually the entire first half, routinely outworking the Blue Devils and generating easy baskets. None was easier than Mason's unimpeded drive across the lane for a layup that put the Bulldogs up 27-20 with 7 1/2 minutes left before the break. "That's one of the reasons we went to the 1-3-1 -- to keep him out of the paint," Krzyzewski said.


Yale: The Bulldogs were trying to beat a reigning national champion for the second straight season. They knocked off Connecticut last year on a 3-pointer by Jack Montague in the final seconds.

Duke: The Blue Devils had to work for it, but they managed to extend their streak of nonconference wins at Cameron Indoor Stadium to 119 -- a string that dates to 2000. They are 98-4 at Cameron during this decade.


Yale is at Albany on Sunday.

Duke plays host to Utah State on Sunday.


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