CLEMSON, SC (AP) — Trevor Keels tied his career high with 25 points and added a career-best 11 rebounds as No. 7 Duke bounced back from its loss to Virginia with an 82-64 victory over Clemson on Thursday night.
The Blue Devils (20-4, 10-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) reached 20 wins for the first time since 2020 and the 36th time in coach Mike Krzyzewski’s 42 seasons.
Mark Williams, a 7-foot-1 sophomore, scored 16 points on 8-of-8 shooting and Paolo Banchero had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Duke.
Keels, a freshman, matched his scoring high set in the season-opening win over Kentucky.
Duke lost at home to unranked Virginia 69-68 on Reece Beekman’s 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left Monday. The Blue Devils trailed much of the opening half against the Cavaliers but made sure that didn’t happen against Clemson (12-12, 4-9).
AJ Griffin and Wendell Moore Jr. each hit a 3-pointer and when Jeremy Roach made a jumper, the Blue Devils were up 18-6 about eight minutes into the game.
Clemson, seventh in the ACC in scoring defense, couldn’t hold back Duke’s attack. Williams hit all five of his shots from him, including three emphatic dunks, as the Blue Devils built a 13-point lead.
Clemson came as close as 43-37 on Chase Hunter’s high-flying jam with 17:14 to play. But after Krzyzewski called a timeout, the Blue Devils got back to business in defeating Clemson for the sixth time in their past seven meetings.
Williams chipped in with six rebounds, two blocks and a steal to go along with his spotless shooting, most coming a few inches from the rim.
It was the Tigers’ third loss in six days, all coming since starter Hunter Tyson broke his clavicle in a victory over Florida State.
Krzyzewski charged onto the court and players from both sides began yelling at each other while order was restored.
Collins was ejected. Before he left, Clemson coach Brad Brownell brought him over to apologize. Collins was seen saying, “That’s on me” as he hugged Krzyzewski, coaching a final time at Littlejohn Coliseum.
This game was originally set for Dec. 30 until COVID-19 issues postponed it.
Duke: The Blue Devils showed once again why they’re on top of the ACC. Williams and Banchero are near impossible matchups in the middle, while Keels and Griffin can score from the outside. Duke outrebounded Clemson 42-33 and hit nine 3-pointers to the Tigers’ five.
Clemson: The Tigers gave Duke all it could handle last month at Cameron Indoor Stadium before falling 71-69. This time, though, Clemson missed shots early to fall into a hole the Blue Devils wouldn’t let them climb out of. Unless the Tigers find a spark, the NCAA Tournament team from a year ago will have trouble finishing above .500 this season.
Duke visits Boston College on Saturday.
Clemson plays its third home game in five days when it faces Notre Dame on Saturday night.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism