The Frosh duo helps No. 8 Duke beat Wake Forest without Coach K.

WINSTON-SALEM, NC (AP) – Paolo Banchero had 24 points and the eighth-ranked Duke hit 13 straight shots to blow it open …

WINSTON-SALEM, NC (AP) – Paolo Banchero had 24 points and the eighth-ranked Duke hit 13 straight shots to open it after the break, beating Wake Forest 76-64 Wednesday night with Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski on the sidelines of disease.

First-year student AJ Griffin had a season-high 22 points to help the Blue Devils recover from a home loss this weekend to Miami. They did it with the retired longtime Duke coach out with what the school called a “non-COVID-related virus,” while associate head coach Jon Scheyer – named Krzyzewski’s successor after this season – worked as acting coach.

Banchero and Griffin took the lead when the Blue Devils (13-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) suddenly extended a lead with two possessions in the last minute of the first half – then carried a burning hot hand into the second, which faltered the Demon Dia women (13-4, 3-3) forever.

Griffin ended the first half by pumping Khadim Sy out of his feet and then stepping over to knock a 3-pointer down just before the horn for a 35-29 lead. The Blue Devils made their last four shots of the first half, then roared out of the break by making their first nine shots.

Alondes Williams scored 25 points for the Demon Deacons, who had the Blue Devils in a close game that came down in the first half and led 29-27 on the Dallas Waltons and-1 dunk with 54.1 seconds left. But the Demon Deacons erased a stretch of quality minutes with a shaky finish that kickstarted Duke’s run-turned landslide.

BIG PICTURE

Duke: This was the Blue Devils’ third game back from a COVID-19 outbreak that led to two suspensions. They returned by shooting the season’s lowest 37% in the win against Georgia Tech, and then committed the season’s worst 17 turnovers in the Miami loss. Along the way, Krzyzewski said it would take time for the Blue Devils to rebuild their fitness to full-go game form. This time, Duke shot 61% after the break and 51% for the game, while also making 7 of 15 3-pointers, with Griffin in particular continuing to flourish.

Wake Forest: Second-year coach Steve Forbes has brought a spark to the program after years of struggle, and it showed up here with a high home crowd – including a full and noisy student section that was common for the Chris Paul era in mid-2000 ‘erne. The Demon Deacons gave rise to the buzz by erasing an early eight-point hole and getting into a close game, only to see this one settle with a couple of poorly timed turnovers just before the break to help Duke with his move.

NEXT

Duke: Hosts North Carolina State on Saturday.

Wake Forest: In Virginia on Saturday.

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Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at https://twitter.com/aaronbeardap

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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