DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Tyrese Proctor has joined the scoring parade as No. 9 Duke keeps unveiling sources of high-powered offense.
The sophomore guard scored a career-high 22 and the Blue Devils had several big second-half runs to bury La Salle in a 95-66 win Tuesday night.
“My shots started falling early,” Proctor said. “I realized I could get downhill more. I just tried to use that to my advantage.”
Kyle Filipowski added 17 points, reserve Sean Stewart scored 16 to go with 10 rebounds, and Mark Mitchell had 12 for Duke (4-1), which won for the third time in eight nights.
“I thought we played a well-rounded game,” Duke coach Jon Scheyer said. “It’s probably the closest we’ve had to a 40-minute game so far.”
Anwar Gill scored 17 points and Jhamir Brickus posted 13 points for La Salle (4-1), which had been off to a 4-0 start for the first time in nine years. The Explorers shot 41.4% from the field in their first road game of the season.
La Salle’s Fran Dunphy, in his 32nd season as a Division I head coach, was bidding for his 600th career victory. He’s 599-345.
Proctor, who shot 7-for-11 from the field with two 3-pointers, also had seven rebounds and four assists without a turnover in nearly 30 minutes.
“I love his pace he’s playing at,” Scheyer said. “He’s making simple plays and then naturally, because he’s really talented, he’s making plays you can’t teach.”
Filipowski, who had only three points in the first half and seemed out of sorts, racked up Duke’s first eight points of the second half as the Blue Devils surged to a 47-31 advantage.
“I think he was just in his head a little bit first half,” Proctor said of Filipowski. “But we all had his back in the locker room and he just played how he normally plays second half.”
The Explorers managed just 6-for-24 shooting on 3-pointers, but defense seemed to be a larger concern for Dunphy.
“Our defense needs to get better,” he said. “They pushed like crazy. They took great advantage of that.”
Duke had an early 11-2 lead before the Explorers pulled within 19-18. La Salle had a stretch of almost four minutes without a field goal and the Blue Devils held 10-point leads several times before a 39-29 halftime edge.
“Obviously, we would have liked it to be more competitive,” Dunphy said. “I thought our first half was OK.”
La Salle: The Explorers didn’t have answers defensively, particularly when the Blue Devils were beating them down the court. Shooting woes put the Explorers in a hole on the offensive end in their lowest-scoring game of the season.
Duke: The Blue Devils are showing offensive versatility as four different players have led the team in scoring across the last four games. Transition baskets came in several doses and those kept the momentum on their side.
“It’s definitely a good trend to have,” Duke guard Jeremy Roach said of multiple top scorers. “It just makes it hard to guard when that ball is popping.”
La Salle: Host Coppin State on Sunday.
Duke: Host Southern Indiana on Friday.
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