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Jack Freifelder | NCAA.com | January 28, 2017

Luke Kennard goes off for 30-point half, game-winner

  Duke's Luke Kennard (5) had 30 points in the second half, including the game-winning 3-pointer.

Things were not looking good for Duke at halftime on Saturday. After all, a 10-point deficit at the intermission in a tough road environment at Wake Forest is not exactly the recipe for a road win. But something in the halftime locker room started a fire in the belly of swingman Luke Kennard, and he helped pace the Blue Devils to a big comeback win.

Kennard had a fairly pedestrian first half with just four points to his name, but the left-handed swingman came alive in the second stanza to help lift his Blue Devils to a much-needed 85-83 victory. His line for the second half: 30 points on 10-of-10 shooting from the field (6-of-6 from 3-point range) and the go-ahead 3-pointer with just under seven seconds to play in regulation. Not a bad way to cap off an intrastate bout with a conference rival.

Duke trailed the entire second half, managing to pull the game within a bucket on several occassions, but the Demon Deacons were able to keep Duke on the short side of the score for most of the afternoon behind a combined 46 points from the sophomore tandem of guard Bryant Crawford (26 points) and John Collins (20 points, eight rebounds).

But it was the Duke guard who had the last laugh, as the Blue Devils got their first road win in conference on the year. 

Luke Kennard 34 points 4 rebounds 4 assists 11-14 FG 6-6 3PT

Duke had lost three of their last four games, not to mention all three road games to start conference play, so the win over Wake Forest will likely soothe some concerned Duke fans.

The reprieve from the scrutiny of college basketball pundits will only last for one day though as Duke is set to travel to play Notre Dame on Monday. Not much of a letup, but C'est la vie in the ACC.

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