DURHAM, N.C. — Having one starter not in uniform and seeing another hobble to the bench in the second half didn’t keep No. 22 Duke from ending a two-game losing streak on Saturday.
Behind Jared McCain’s 21 points and 18 from Jeremy Roach, the Blue Devils toppled Charlotte, 80-56, at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Coming off consecutive road losses to Arkansas, 80-75, and Georgia Tech, 72-68, the Blue Devils (6-3) played without sophomore point guard Tyrese Proctor (sprained ankle). Preseason All-American Kyle Filipowski went to the bench, and briefly to the locker room, during the second half after spraining his ankle.
Filipowski’s injury coincided with an 11-0 Charlotte run in the second half as the 49ers trimmed what had been a 25-point Blue Devils lead in the first half, to as few as 11 points at 57-46 with 13:37 to play.
He returned as Duke pulled away to a one-sided win over the 49ers (5-4).
Filipowski scored only five points, on 2-of-10 shooting, but led Duke with 13 rebounds and four assists.
“I’m not really upset about not scoring the ball that much. I think I did a good job facilitating for some of my other teammates, as well,” Filipowski said. “Seeing some of these other guys step up; it’s good especially for the freshmen to just have that confidence keep growing in them, showing what they’re capable of. We’re gonna need that down the road if we want to go to the Final Four.”
After playing in all 36 games as a freshman last season and starting every game this season, Proctor missed his first career game for Duke on Saturday.
Proctor injured his ankle early in Duke’s loss at Georgia Tech on Dec. 2. He’s been diagnosed with a sprained ankle and he used crutches to maneuver himself to the bench on Saturday.
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