No. 6 Duke pulls past William & Mary 88-67

Duke's Chase Jeter, rear, Matt Jones, left, and William & Mary's Jack Whitman (41) reach for the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Duke's Chase Jeter, rear, Matt Jones, left, and William & Mary's Jack Whitman (41) reach for the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Grayson Allen’s foot is feeling a little better — and so is his shot.

Allen scored 17 points to help No. 6 Duke beat William & Mary 88-67 on Wednesday night.

Allen injured his right foot in last week’s loss to No. 5 Kansas, and coach Mike Krzyzewski said his star guard’s health is improving “but he’s not there yet.”

Not coincidentally, Allen was just 2 of 18 from 3-point range during his last three games — the Kansas loss, and wins over Penn State and Rhode Island. He missed five of his first six long-range attempts against the Tribe before making his last two to finish 3 of 8.

“It’s about time I made some shots,” Allen said. “It felt better to see the ball go in the net. The confidence in my shooting never left me. I just had to make them, and finally tonight I was able to make a few.”

Freshman Frank Jackson scored 19 points to help the Blue Devils (5-1) win their third straight since the Kansas loss. Duke shot 50 percent and outrebounded the Tribe 39-25.

Amile Jefferson finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, Luke Kennard had 11 points and Matt Jones scored 10 points. Duke has had five double-figure scorers in every game this season.

Jack Whitman and Daniel Dixon scored 13 points each for William & Mary (2-2), which hasn’t beaten a ranked team since 1977 and has never beaten one on the road.

The Tribe hung around this one until the second half, but Duke shot 52 percent after the break and pushed its lead well into the 20s with an 18-7 run midway through the half sparked by two 3s by Jackson.

BIG PICTURE

William & Mary: All the Tribe have proven so far is that they are not one of the nation’s Top 10 teams. No shame in losing either to Duke or to No. 10 Louisville, as they have done in the past nine days, and they made Duke work much harder than the Cardinals did when they beat them by 33.

“We’ve played two teams we were better than, and should have won, and played two teams … in Louisville and Duke, Top 10 teams in the country that would have taken great performances for us to win,” coach Tony Shaver said.

Duke: This felt like business as usual for this group of Blue Devils, who can always seem to count on a big run to blow past an overmatched nonconference visitor. They used essentially a six-man rotation during the pre-garbage time portion of the game while cruising to their 128th straight non-ACC win at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Blue Devils figure to move up a spot next week and return to the top five — thanks to IPFW’s upset of No. 3 Indiana a night earlier — and they gave no indication against the Tribe that they deserve any ranking lower than that.

INJURY REPORT

Duke’s three injured freshmen — Harry Giles, Marques Bolden and Jayson Tatum — seem to be getting closer to playing. They have still yet to check into a game, but for the first time they were in uniform, and Giles and Bolden even took part in warmups. Those three were a big reason why the Blue Devils were picked No. 1 in the preseason.

“In the transition from serious injury, it’s not just physical, it’s mental, psychological,” Krzyzewski said. “I just think, to put on your uniform, to do warmups as much as you can, to be more a part of a team is something, we want to transition to that. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We just don’t know how long the tunnel is. Days like today help.”

STAT LINE

Kennard finished two rebounds and four assists shy of Duke’s first triple-double in 10 years. Shelden Williams was the last to do it against Maryland in 2006.

UP NEXT

William & Mary: The Tribe return home to play host to Liberty on Saturday.

Duke: The Blue Devils play host to Appalachian State on Saturday before welcoming in No. 24 Michigan State next week for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.