DURHAM, N.C. — Jerome Hill and Gardner-Webb kept knocking down shots to stay in the game with No. 8 Duke on Monday night.
Hill scored a career-high 22 points while the Runnin’ Bulldogs shot 54 percent in the 85-66 loss to the Blue Devils. It was a strong shooting performance for Gardner-Webb, which hit its first six shots and had four players finish in double figures.
Hill finished 9 for 10 from the field to go with nine rebounds to lead the Runnin’ Bulldogs, who got within a dozen points on Hill’s basket with about 17 minutes left but could draw no closer.
Gardner-Webb shot 63 percent in the first half to trail by 14 points and survive Duke’s fast start, but cooled to 46 percent after halftime.
Coach Tim Craft said his team just couldn’t string enough defensive stops together to let the offense close the gap even more.
“When we made a few shots, they always recovered with a run like good teams do,” Craft said. “They were able to do that tonight. Anytime we kind of cut into it a little bit, they responded with a run to open it back up to 16, 18, and it was kind of like that the rest of the second half.”
Freshman Jabari Parker scored 21 points and Andre Dawkins added a season-high 18 points for the Blue Devils (8-2), who were playing their first game in nearly two weeks.
Duke’s offense came out strong and shot 50 percent with nine three-pointers, maintaining a double-digit lead for most of the game even though they didn’t do a lot to slow the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ hot shooting.
Duke led by 23 points in the second half on the way to earning its 108th straight home nonconference victory.
Duke hadn’t played since beating Michigan 79-69 here on Dec. 3 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, ending a stretch of four games in 10 days that included a loss to top-ranked Arizona in the NIT Season Tip-Off championship and a one-point home win over Vermont just before Thanksgiving.
The Blue Devils didn’t have a lot of drama Monday night against the Runnin’ Bulldogs (6-6). Still, they never put together a knockout run, either, coasting with a comfortable lead for the final 15 minutes.
Parker finished 7 of 12 from the field with six rebounds in 26 minutes.
Dawkins, a fifth-year senior guard who sat out last season while he dealt with his sister’s death during his freshman year, finished 6 of 10 from the field, including 4-for-8 shooting from three-point range.
Quinn Cook added 16 points and nine assists for Duke, while Rodney Hood scored 15 points.
Top 25 women
STANFORD, Calif. — Chiney Ogwumike scored 32 points on 14-of-21 shooting as No. 6-ranked Stanford routed New Mexico 75-41 on Monday night.
Ogwumike also had seven rebounds and four blocks for the Cardinal (8-1), which led 40-21 at halftime after opening the game on a 27-8 run.
New Mexico (4-5) shot just 24.2 percent in the loss. Bryce Owens led the Lobos with 12 points.
No. 14 North Carolina 124, New Orleans 41: In Myrtle Beach, S.C., Allisha Gray and Diamond DeShields both scored 20 points as UNC broke the 100-point mark for the second straight game.
Coming off a 51-point win against Charleston Southern on Saturday, North Carolina (9-2) set a school record by scoring 124 points. The previous record was 121, set in 1985. It was North Carolina’s first back-to-back 100-point games since the 2009-10 season.
No. 23 Syracuse 82, Temple 76: In Syracuse, N.Y., Shakeya Leary scored 24 points and Brittney Sykes added 20 for Syracuse (9-1).
No. 24 Florida State 61, North Florida 42: In Tallahassee, Fla., Ivey Slaughter scored a career-high 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead Florida State (9-1).
No. 25 Gonzaga 87, UC Riverside 43: In Spokane, Wash., Sonja Greinacher tied a career high with 21 points for Gonzaga.
No. 1 vs. No. 2 tonight
The UConn women’s basketball team remains the unanimous No. 1 in The Associated Press poll, with a showdown against second-ranked Duke looming tonight.
It will be the 52nd meeting between the top two teams in the poll, with the No. 1 team holding a 31-20 advantage.
The top 10 remained the same as last week with Tennessee, Notre Dame, Kentucky, Stanford, Louisville, Maryland, Baylor and South Carolina following the Blue Devils.