DURHAM — Duke's big questions weren't going to be answered while the eighth-ranked Blue Devils beat visiting Division II Lenoir-Rhyne, 95-42 in their final exhibition game of the preseason on Wednesday.
Still sophomore forward Kyle Singler made three steals, finished on several self-started breaks and hit two 3-pointers while scoring 22 points with eight rebounds and three assists.
Sophomore guard Nolan Smith, a more natural shooting guard who's starting at the point after a one-year internship, scored 14 points with three assists while floating back and forth between directing the offense and finishing it.
Duke will open the season against Presbyterian in the first round of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on Monday.
Lenoir-Rhyne’s Josh Rudder, from Graham, N.C., scored 10 points, all in the first half, to lead the Bears, a strong Division II squad. But that was the lone bright spot.
Leading 51-29 at halftime, the Devils went on a 20-2 run to open the second half.
The Devils worked exploited its speed and height advantage on both ends. Junior center Brian Zoubek. scored 15 points. Senior David McClure sparked the defense while grabbing three steals two rebounds and scoring two points.
Lenoir-Rhyne, coached for 23 seasons by John Lentz, did a decent job early making shots and, more importantly, not forcing bad ones to feed Duke's break. Lenoir-Rhyne tied the score at 13 with Donte Watson's score on the offensive glass.
The Devils led 19-15 with 11:57 left in the half, then proceeded to score on seven of its next eight possessions.
In the 3:47 before Lentz called a timeout at the 8:10 mark, the Devils stole passes and scored on four possessions during the 14-0 run to take a 33-15 lead.