No. 8 Duke beats Gardner-Webb 85-66

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Freshman Jabari Parker scored 21 points to help No. 8 Duke beat Gardner-Webb 85-66 on Monday night.

Andre Dawkins added a season-high 18 points for the Blue Devils (8-2), who were playing their first game in nearly two weeks. Duke's offense came out strong and shot 50 percent with nine 3-pointers, maintaining a double-digit lead for most of the game even though they didn't do a lot to slow the Runnin' Bulldogs' own hot shooting.

Duke led by 14 points at halftime and by 23 in the second half on the way to earning its 108th straight home nonconference victory.

Jerome Hill scored a career-high 22 points to go with nine rebounds to lead Gardner-Webb (6-6), which shot nearly 63 percent in the opening half before cooling off and finishing at 54 percent for the game.

Duke hadn't played since beating Michigan 79-69 here on Dec. 3 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, ending a stretch of four games in 10 days that included a loss to top-ranked Arizona in the NIT Season Tip-Off championship and a one-point home win over Vermont just before Thanksgiving.

The Blue Devils didn't have a lot of drama Monday night, with the Runnin' Bulldogs never getting closer than 12 points early in the second half. Still, they never put together a knockout run, either, coasting with a comfortable lead for the final 15 minutes.

Parker finished 7 of 12 from the field with six rebounds in 26 minutes.

Dawkins, a fifth-year senior guard who sat out last season while he dealt with his sister's death during his freshman year, finished 6 of 10 from the field, including 4-for-8 shooting from 3-point range.

Quinn Cook added 16 points and nine assists for Duke, while Rodney Hood scored 15 points.

The Blue Devils' legs looked fresh Monday, at least when it came to their first-half shooting.

With Dawkins knocking down his first four shots, Duke started the game 17 of 23 from the field (74 percent) to build a double-digit lead. That included a 7-0 burst in a span of a minute, with Tyler Thornton knocking down a 3 off an inbounds pass and Parker following with a jumper in the lane and a dunk on an alley-oop feed from Cook to make it 46-25 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

The only problem for Duke? Gardner-Webb didn't miss much, either.

The Runnin' Bulldogs scored the last eight points before halftime, with Hill knocking down a shot over Amile Jefferson then scoring in the lane for a three-point play that cut Duke's lead to 53-39.

The Runnin' Bulldogs got as close as 56-44 on Hill's layup with 17:07 left, but Hood answered with a three-point play to turn away what amounted to Gardner-Webb's closest push.

Duke finished with a 37-22 rebounding advantage and scored 13 second-chance points.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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