DURHAM, N.C. – The 15th-ranked Duke University Blue Devils got off to a torrid shooting start and scored 70 first-half points en route to a 105-66 victory against the Elon University men’s basketball team Dec. 28 at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the Phoenix’s first loss in over a month.
Elon (9-4), which had won six straight heading into the game, was led by Tanner Samson, who scored 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including five 3-pointers. Christian Hairston had a team-high six rebounds and Dainan Swoope dished out a team-high five assists.
Duke’s Brandon Ingram had a game-high 26 points, and five other Blue Devils scored in double figures. Ingram was also the game’s leading rebounder with 11 boards.
Duke (10-2) controlled play from the outset and shot 58 percent on 25-of-43 shooting in the first half, a mark that included nine 3-pointers. The Blue Devils led 70-31 after 20 minutes, the largest halftime deficit of the season for the Phoenix.
Elon made five of its first eight shots from the field and trailed, 13-12, at the under-16 media timeout. The Blue Devils followed with a 15-2 run that included back-to-back 3-pointers by Duke’s Luke Kennard to quickly stretch his team’s lead to 28-14 with 12:23 left in the first half.
The Phoenix found its stoke from 3-point range in second half, making six in the half’s first 12:47, including three from Tanner Samson. In all, five different Phoenix connected from 3-point range.
The Phoenix recorded assists on 18 of its 25 field goals and played the Blue Devils to an even 35-35 mark in the second half. Elon shot 38 percent from the field in the game while Duke finished at 51 percent.
Swoope (eight points) and Steven Santa Ana (10) provided a lift for the Phoenix off the bench, leading to a 27-23 bench-point advantage for Elon.
–Duke’s victory against Elon was its fifth against the Phoenix in the last six years.
–The loss snaps a six-game win streak for the Phoenix, whose last loss came Nov. 27 against Texas A&M Corpus-Christi.
Elon opens Colonial Athletic Association play this week with a pair of games at Alumni Gym. The Phoenix hosts Northeastern Dec. 31 at 2 p.m. and Drexel Jan. 2 at 4 p.m. Saturday’s game against the Dragons will be broadcasted on American Sports Network.