Preseason All-American center Kyle Filipowski left the game late in the first half after rolling ankle. But the 7-foot Filipowski returned to start the second half, finishing with 10 points and six rebounds.
Sophomore Mark Mitchell led Duke (3-1) with a career-best 20 points against Bucknell (1-4). Freshman guard Jared McCain finished with his first career double-double, scoring 17 points with a team-best 10 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Tyrese Proctor scored 13 points.
The Blue Devils built a 44-29 halftime lead and cruised in the second half. Duke shot 549% from the field, including 40% on 3-pointers.
Filipowski’s injury scare
With 4:04 left in the first half, Filipowski’s right ankle rolled over as he was getting position inside during a Blue Devils offensive possession. He immediately fell to the court in pain, and officials halted play. After being attended to by the team’s medical staff, Filipowski was helped to the locker room.
The Blue Devils led Bucknell 33-26 when the injury occurred. Filipowski had eight points and grabbed five rebounds before he left the game, and Duke finished the half on top 44-29.
During halftime, all of Filipowski’s teammates jogged out of the locker room to take the court for warmups. Filipowski jogged out last, joining the rest of the Blue Devils on the court as the crowd cheered loudly. After testing how the ankle felt while getting some shots up, he started the second half for the Blue Devils.
He played four minutes in the second half before head coach Jon Scheyer took him out and rested him with the Blue Devils well in front on the scoreboard.
Duke’s leading scorer and rebounder a freshman last season, the 7-foot Filipowski is averaging 21.7 points and 7.7 rebounds this season.
Even before Filipowski turned his ankle, Duke’s depth in the post was thin due to 7-1 sophomore center Christian Reeves being out with a right ankle injury. Reeves was not in uniform and wore a protective boot on his right foot.
McCain starts, hits shots
Though he struggled to make shots over the previous two games, McCain remained in the starting lineup. He rewarded Scheyer’s patience by hitting five 3-pointers to score 15 points.
Over the past two games, when Duke lost 78-73 to Arizona and beat Michigan State, 74-65, McCain hit just 3 of 13 shots. That included 1 of 7 on 3-pointers. Against Michigan State, while McCain missed all five of his shots, fellow freshman guard Caleb Foster came off the bench to score 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting to help the Blue Devils win.
But Scheyer stayed with McCain in the starting five against Bucknell, along with Mitchell, Filipowski, Tyrese Proctor and Jeremy Roach.
Foster didn’t shoot as well as he did against Michigan State. He sank 3 of 9 shots to score nine points. But he led Duke in assists (six).
Duke defense shines
The Blue Devils dominated the rebounding statistic, gaining a 46-27 edge. They also held Bucknell to 37% shooting.
After using the 3-point shot to stay within four points of Duke over the game’s first 16 minutes, the Bison made just 3 of 12 in the second half to finish at 9 of 29 (31%) for the game.