Duke's Brandon Ingram (14) shoots over Buffalo's CJ Massinburg during an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Ted Richardson)
Ted Richardson
December 05, 2015

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) No. 7 Duke has 10 days between games and the Blue Devils figure they could use the break.

Duke pulled away to beat Buffalo 82-59 on Saturday behind 23 points from freshman Brandon Ingram.

Grayson Allen finished with 22 points and a career-best 11 rebounds, all on the defensive end, while Amile Jefferson had 13 points for the Blue Devils (8-1).

They won their sixth straight despite some offensive struggles: Duke never trailed but shot a season-worst 40.7 percent and matched a season low with five 3-pointers.

''We looked tired offensively in the first half. We were just chaotic,'' coach Mike Krzyzewski said. ''We looked tired, Brandon gave us a big lift ... and they worked themselves through it.''

This was Duke's ninth game in a 23-day span, and its third game of the week.

''This was a long, extended stretch of quick turnarounds, of learning about one team and the next day having to learn about another group - always being locked in, mentally as well as physically,'' Jefferson said. ''It's taxing on you. ... This is the closing of that.''

CJ Massinburg had 17 points and Lamonte Bearden added 10 for Buffalo (4-4), which shot just 33 percent.

''I know we gave up 82,'' first-year Buffalo coach Nate Oats said, ''but I felt like we played decent defensively tonight.''

After some early shooting struggles, Duke scored 11 straight points midway through the second half to build its first 20-point lead.

''We played more fluid on the offensive end'' in the second half, Allen said. ''We really wanted to move the ball around better, start finding some easier shots and get some assists and play more unselfish.''

Jarryn Skeete pulled the Bulls to 41-32 with a 3-pointer with 15 minutes left. Jefferson countered with a layup, Ingram hit a corner 3 and the Blue Devils jumped into a 1-3-1 defense that forced consecutive turnovers that led to five easy points. Jefferson then capped the burst with a free throw that made it 52-32 with 12:25 to play.

After Buffalo cut it to 12, Matt Jones answered with a 3-pointer - just Duke's third to that point - to make it 62-47 with 7 minutes left.

The Blue Devils might have been in big trouble in this one if not for Ingram - who was 8 of 15 in his second straight 20-point performance. He had a season-best 24 points last time out, in a 20-point win over Indiana three nights earlier.

It would have been tough for the Blue Devils as a whole to play much better than they did in that one.

But for a while, it seemed like a pretty drastic regression.

Players not named Ingram combined to miss 16 straight shots over a 15-minute stretch, and Duke had just two assists on its 10 baskets in the first half.

That Duke led by 10 points at halftime was mainly due to Ingram - who had 15 points at the break - and 13-of-17 free throw shooting.

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FAMILIAR FACES

This game could have matched Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski against the point guard of his first two national championship teams - Bobby Hurley - but he took the Arizona State job during the offseason. There was still a familiar face on the Bulls' bench: Former North Carolina State star Julius Hodge is in his first year as Buffalo's director of player development.

TIP-INS

Buffalo: The Bulls, who visit No. 5 Iowa State on Monday night, are the first Mid-American Conference team to play consecutive games against Top 10 opponents since Eastern Michigan in 2012.

Duke: Krzyzewski says 6-foot-8 freshman forward Justin Robinson - the son of former NBA star David Robinson - hopes to redshirt this season. ... Seven-foot center Marshall Plumlee finished with a career-high four assists. He entered with a team-best 17 blocks and shared the team lead for the season with 10 steals.

UP NEXT

Buffalo visits No. 5 Iowa State on Monday night.

Duke hosts Georgia Southern on Dec. 15.

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Follow Joedy McCreary at http://twitter.com/joedyap. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/joedy-mccreary

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AP college basketball site: http://collegebasketball.ap.org

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