DURHAM, N.C. — Western Washington lost 105-87 to Duke in a men’s basketball exhibition Saturday afternoon at historic Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Vikings point guard John Allen, from Mountlake Terrace High School, scored 17 points and forward Paul Jones had 20 points.
“This was a very enjoyable experience for us,” said Western coach Tony Dominguez. “As a coach, and as a fan of the ACC, and the Duke-North Carolina rivalry, it was exciting to be part of this for a couple days. What an environment it was to experience.”
Center Mason Plumlee and forward Ryan Kelly each scored 22 points for the Blue Devils, ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press preseason poll. Plumlee had a game-high 11 rebounds.
Freshman guard Rasheed Sulaimon scored 20 points, 15 in the first half to help Duke take a 54-39 halftime lead.
“That was a really good basketball game,” said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. “I like that team so much; you can tell why they were Division II champions … Their kids are fearless, strong, and they caused a lot of turnovers. I thought we responded well.”
Duke never trailed, but Western closed to within seven at 39-32 with 6:24 remaining in the first half. After a timeout, the Blue Devils ran off 13 consecutive points and the margin was double digits the rest of the way.
“D-II teams are some of the best coached teams in the country,” said Krzyzewski, who said he believed John Allen would compete well in the ACC. ” … They have great comradarie and they play together. If you get a group like that that’s older, and good, they can compete against a lot of D-I schools … We could have lost to them today if our younger kids don’t play well.”
Western, which lost 88-78 in an exhibition at University of Washington last Wednesday, opens its season Friday, Nov. 9 at home against Multnomah University.