No. 2 Duke easily bests Elon 87-56; two opponents canceled

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — After having two different opponents bow out due to COVID-19 issues, No. 2 Duke beat last-minute replacement Elon 87-56 on Saturday.

The Blue Devils (10-1) led 44-26 by halftime and never trailed.

Duke’s Trevor Keels had a game-high 19 points, Paolo Banchero had 12 points and nine rebounds, Wendell Moore Jr. had 12 points and five assists and Jeremy Roach had 11 points.

Jerald Gilllens-Butler paced the Phoenix (3-9) with 14.

The Blue Devils were initially set to host Cleveland State before the team had to pause activities Wednesday. Duke then scheduled a game with Loyola Maryland before the Greyhounds had positive tests in their program, leading to a second cancellation.

The Phoenix, located 40 miles from Durham, filled in, with the announcement coming late Friday afternoon.

Duke was without assistant coach Nolan Smith due to the school’s COVID-19 health and safety protocol. The school said in a statement that an “assessment by Duke’s medical personnel indicated no other members of the program are at risk with this particular circumstance.”

BIG PICTURE

Duke: The Blue Devils finished their nonconference schedule with one loss — at Ohio State on Nov. 30. Their slate also included wins over then-No. 10 Kentucky on Nov. 10 and then-No. 1 Gonzaga on Nov. 27.

During the stretch, Moore averaged 16.9 points per game and Banchero 16.5 points, and the team is looking like a contender for a deep run in the NCAA tournament in coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last season.

Elon: Fell to 0-7 on the road with the loss and has dropped eight of its last nine.

UP NEXT

Duke: Host Virginia Tech on Wednesday to kick off their ACC schedule.

Elon: Face Arkansas on Tuesday before beginning conference play.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Ryan Wilcox, The Associated Press

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