DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Jared McCain and No. 22 Duke are determined to make the most of a tough start to the season.

McCain scored 14 of his season-high 21 points in the first half, and the Blue Devils got rolling again following two losses and a week layoff, beating Charlotte 80-56 on Saturday.

“I’ve learned so much this season already and when you have those (setbacks) you want to learn and build off it,” McCain said.

McCain, a freshman guard, made three 3-pointers. Jeremy Roach added 18 points, reserve Jaylen Blakes had 15 points and Mark Mitchell scored 12 for the Blue Devils (6-3).

“I’m proud of the response that our team had,” Duke coach Jon Scheyer said. “So for us, this week was about getting back to work. ... We’re better today because what we went through last week.”

Duke had dropped road games to Arkansas and Georgia Tech since its last victory Nov. 24.

“It’s been good for us, getting kicked in the butt,” forward Kyle Filipowski said. “I think we’re starting to find ourselves.”

Lu’cye Patterson had 14 points and Nik Graves scored each of his 10 points in the second half, but Charlotte (5-4) suffered its most lopsided defeat under first-year coach Aaron Fearne.

The 49ers cut a 25-point hole to 55-44 before going more than eight minutes without a field goal, allowing the Blue Devils to rebuild a 20-point margin.

“We couldn’t put enough scoreboard pressure on them,” Fearne said. “We do fight. We do compete. The thing I’ve challenged with them is the attention to detail. Our guys will learn from it.”

Duke played without starting point guard Tyrese Proctor, who suffered an ankle injury a week earlier at Georgia Tech. He’s likely to be out for another week, Scheyer said.

Four Duke players hit 3s in the first nine minutes as the Blue Devils raced to a 22-11 lead.

“We were probably wobbly a little early on,” Fearne said.

Duke’s 45-27 halftime lead came with 57.5% shooting from the field, aiding a season-high first-half point total. It was fifth time this season that Charlotte failed to reach the 30-point mark in the opening half.


New Duke football coach Manny Diaz was introduced during a first-half timeout and he later sank a free throw for charity at halftime. ... A fan fell ill courtside across from the Charlotte bench with more than five minutes left in the first half, causing a delay with Duke leading 36-17.


Charlotte: The 49ers went through too many stretches without generating much offense, difficult to overcome in their first true road game of the season. Shooting 4 for 20 on 3-pointers didn’t help matters.

Duke: The Blue Devils showed signs of smooth play, particularly with a 15-2 first-half advantage in fast-break points. But there were frustrating moments, especially for Filipowski, a preseason All-American who had five points on 2-for-10 shooting but grabbed 13 rebounds.


Charlotte: Saturday at Richmond

Duke: Tuesday at home vs. Hofstra


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