DURHAM, N.C. -- Dukes shooting cooled as the game wore on while its defence had trouble consistently slowing down Gardner-Webbs hot shooting. Then again, Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski said, it was an OK performance for a team coming off such a long break. Freshman Jabari Parker scored 21 points to help No. 8 Duke beat Gardner-Webb 85-66 on Monday night in its first game in nearly two weeks. Andre Dawkins added a season-high 18 points for the Blue Devils (8-2), who hadnt played since beating Michigan on Dec. 3 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. That break, which included final exams, came after a tough 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. "You dont stop playing for two weeks and not have some slippage," Krzyzewski said. "But overall I was pleased with our team." Duke wont have to wait nearly as long to get back on the court. The Blue Devils face UCLA on Thursday in New York in their last game before the Christmas holiday. Duke had its good and bad moments in this one, though it led by a comfortable margin all game. The offence roared to a fast start with accurate shooting and unselfish basketball, though things slowed down after halftime. The defence didnt do much to slow the Runnin Bulldogs (6-6) in the first half, but Krzyzewski said the Blue Devils played better on that end in the second half. 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. Parker said the Blue Devils had a "a little bit of a setback" when it came to talking to each other on the defensive end. "For the Michigan game we were really awake and aware of their players," Parker said. "But this game we kind of let them go to their tendencies and we saw it played out well for them." Quinn Cook, who had 16 points and nine assists for Duke, noticed something else as the Blue Devils couldnt miss on the offensive end through the first 14 1/2 minutes. "I think when we get it going offensively like that, we kind of get lazy on defence," Cook said. "We had it going early so we got lazy. But at some point, weve got to just get it out of our system." Duke made 17 of its first 23 shots (74 per cent) with 14 assists on those baskets before finishing the half at nearly 59 per cent. The Blue Devils shot just 8 for 22 (36 per cent) after halftime and finished the game at 50 per cent, though they hit nine 3-pointers and converted 15 offensive rebounds into 13 second-chance points. Jerome Hill scored a career-high 22 points on 9-for-10 shooting to go with nine rebounds to lead Gardner-Webb, which shot nearly 63 per cent in the opening half before finishing at 54 per cent for the game. "We played pretty good offensively the entire first half," Gardner-Webb coach Tim Craft said. "Unfortunately we couldnt get any stops on the other end." 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 sisters death during his freshman year, finished 6 of 10 from the field, including 4-for-8 shooting from 3-point range. He knocked down his first four shots to help Duke to its fast start, which included a 7-0 burst in the span of a minute. Tyler Thornton knocked 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 didnt miss much, either. Gardner-Webb got as close as 56-44 on Hills layup with 17:07 left, but Rodney Hood (15 points) answered with a three-point play to turn away what amounted to Gardner-Webbs closest push. Dawkins followed with a 3 a minute later for a 62-46 lead, and Duke led by at least 16 the rest of the night. The Blue Devils took their largest lead at 74-51 on Parkers free throws with 10:42 left. Jeremy Kerley Bills Jersey
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. He made that dream a reality Wednesday night. Olt, who grew up in Branford, Connecticut, attended UConn and made a nearly 2 1-2 hour trek to Boston a handful of times to watch the Red Sox, belted a two-run homer, one of four hit by Cubs in a 16-9 rout that completed a three-game interleague series sweep.Leicesters Premier League title charge was built on exhilarating attacking in the first half of the season, but their mean defence is coming to the fore now. Ahead of their meeting with Southampton on Super Sunday, we take a look at how the high-flying Foxes have adapted… When Leicester sat top of the table at Christmas it was largely thanks to a formidable record of 37 goals in 17 games. Jamie Vardys record-breaking scoring run had propelled the relegation-favourites to unthinkable heights, but when his goals started drying up it was widely anticipated the magic would fade and the Foxes would start to slide.Their defensive record did not exactly cry out solidity, after all. Leicester had conceded 24 times in those 17 games - the same number as relegation-threatened Swansea - and it wasnt until late October that Claudio Ranieri had to come good on his promise of pizza to reward their first clean sheet of the season. Three months on, however, and Leicesters players are dining on pizza almost every week. Last weekends victory over Crystal Palace was their fourth 1-0 win in five games, and Premier League viewers have become accustomed to seeing them at the top of the pile.The Foxes are now just seven games away from making history with a title challenge that is rapidly gathering momentum. Leicesters Premier League record before and after Christmas Leicester 2015/16 Before Christmas After Christmas Games played 17 14 Wins 11 8 Draws 5 4 Losses 1 2 Goals scored 37 17 Goals conceded 24 7 Clean sheets 3 9 Leicester remain a deadly force on the counter-attack, but the statistics illustrate how the emphasis has shifted since Christmas. Before then, the Foxes were averaging 2.2 goals per game, but they have only netted 17 times in 14 outings since then at a rate of just 1.2 goals per game.Despite the drop-off in goals scored, however, Leicesters results have remained consistent, with their average points per game only falling slightly (from 2.4 before Christmas to 2.0 afterwards) while their lead at the top of the table continues to grow. Leicesters Premier League record before and after Christmas Leicester 2015/16 Before Christmas After Christmas Goals per game 2.2 1.2 Shots on target per game 5.1 3.9 Goals conceded per game 1.4 0.5 Shots on target faced per game 4.2 3.4 Points per game 2.2 2.0 A run of four shut-outs in five games has highlighted their defensive resilience in recent weeks, but the stinginess has been apparent for months.dddddddddddd Since Christmas, and with help from midfield enforcer NGolo Kante, a first-choice back five of Kasper Schmeichel, Danny Simpson, Robert Huth, Wes Morgan and Christian Fuchs has only been breached seven times.Once we got that first clean sheet, it cemented the idea in peoples heads that keeping a clean sheet is a great foundation to build upon, said back-up goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer on Sky Sports News HQ. Weve got players who will always score goals, so if you can keep a clean sheet when the season gets tighter and the pressure starts to mount, you can win games by the odd goal. Mark Schwarzer highlights Leicesters defence as the key to their recent form Having found defensive shut-outs so hard to come by at the start of the campaign, Leicester have now kept nine in their last 13 games. In the same period, no other Premier League side has managed more than seven. They have the look of champions about them, noted Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp in his Daily Mail column - and hes not the only one to have been impressed.They dont give a lot away, said Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew after Riyad Mahrezs first-half strike settled last weekends game at Selhurst Park. Theyre underestimated defensively. Theyve got energy and theyre up to the ball all the time. Theyre tight and its difficult to create against them. Most Premier League clean sheets since Christmas Team Clean sheets Leicester 9 Southampton 7 Arsenal 6 Manchester City 6 The two centre-halves are confident in possession, they rarely make mistakes and they dont slash at clearances. They make good clearances from their defensive third and theyre fast. They have a lovely balance to the team and you have to admire them.Leicester have also had to adapt to their opponents attempts to nullify their goalscoring threat. The Foxes thrived in the first half of the season by ceding possession to their rivals, waiting for mistakes and springing forward on the counter-attack, but since their 2-1 defeat to Arsenal the likes of Norwich and West Brom have played them at their own game. Kasper Schmeichel, Robert Huth and Christian Fuchs have shone in recent weeks The Foxes have therefore averaged 53.4 per cent possession in the last five games compared to 40.5 per cent earlier in the season. The enforced change of approach has resulted in fewer opportunities for Ranieris attackers to get in behind, but their defensive solidity has made the difference at the other end.Leicester are now within touching distance of one of the most extraordinary achievements in football history, and while Mahrez and Vardy are likely to battle it out for the player of the year gong, they are certainly not the only individuals who are due a considerable share of the credit. Leicesters remarkable stats We look at the numbers behind Leicesters Premier League title charge Also See: Leicesters remarkable stats Leicester to slip up? Ranieri remaining grounded Mahrez: Title getting close Cheap Jerseys 2019 China NFL Gear Wholesale NFL T-shirts Wholesale NFL Autographed Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping Wholesale NFL White Jerseys China NFL Gear
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