NEW YORK — Senior guard Quinn Cook scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half and fourth-ranked Duke pulled away for a 74-54 victory over Temple on Friday night in the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Barclays Center.
Freshman center Jahil Okafor added 16 points and eight rebounds and first-year forward Justise Winslow chipped in 15 points for Duke, which won despite shooting 39.1 percent from the field (25 of 64).
Senior guard Will Cummings had 18 points for Temple. Reserve guard Josh Brown added 11, but fellow guard Quenton DeCorsey made just 5 of 16 shots from the field after getting 20 points on Monday against Louisiana Tech.
Duke improved to 4-0 and won its seventh straight game in the event. The Blue Devils advanced to the championship game against Stanford, which is coached by former Duke guard and assistant coach Johnny Dawkins.
Cook had his 50th double-figures game and 19th with at least three 3-pointers, but he started slowly. He was 2 of 5 from the field in the first half but went 6 of 12 for the game, including 3 of 8 from behind the arc.
Okafor was 3 of 13 from the floor in the first half as he missed four layups and two tip-ins. He was somewhat better in the final 20 minutes and finished 8 of 20 in his fourth collegiate game.
Okafor’s improved play in the second half helped Duke get some separation from Temple. His first basket gave the Blue Devils a 38-26 lead early in the second half and then he converted two more layups that extended the lead to 49-32 with 13 1/2 minutes remaining.
Temple sliced the deficit to 62-48 on a tip-in and reverse layup by Cummings with about 5 1/2 minutes remaining. About a minute later, Cook hit a long jumper and that started a game-ending 12-6 spurt that clinched the victory.
Duke opened a 13-4 lead with a little over 14 minutes remaining in the first half on a 3-pointer by freshman guard Grayson Allen. The Blue Devils took their first double-digit lead at 20-8 a little more than four minutes later on a three-point play by forward Amile Jefferson.
Cummings missed his first four shots from the field before hitting a layup with 4:46 remaining that cut the deficit to 25-17. But seven seconds later, he picked up his third foul. Duke scored the next seven points, but Temple was within 36-26 after a basket by forward Mark Williams.
The Blue Devils maintained a double-digit lead for most of the first half despite shooting 30.8 percent from the field (12 of 39). Temple was slightly better at halftime, shooting 34.5 percent (10 of 29), but were undone by 10 turnovers.
NOTES: Duke played its 97th in-season tournament game under coach Mike Krzyzewski, who starts three freshmen. …. Starting three first-year players this early in the season has only happened twice in Duke history. The previous instance was 1983 when Mark Alarie, current Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins and Bill Jackman did it. … Entering Friday, the Blue Devils have assisted on 61.5 percent of their baskets and averaged 22.3 assists. … Temple F Jaylen Bond, a 6-foot-8 transfer from Texas, was listed as day-to-day because of an ankle injury suffered in practice on Nov. 4. Bond wound up playing though he limped off the court to the bench late in the first half. … Friday marked the eighth time that Temple coach Fran Dunphy and Kryzewski were on opposing sidelines. … Dunphy and Kryzewski played together on a U.S. Army touring team in 1971. The team trained at the Presidio in San Francisco and toured domestically while also visiting Germany, Greece, Lebanon and Syria.
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