Jahlil Okafor's big game lifts second-ranked Duke over Elon
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Jahlil Okafor had a season-high 25 points and set a Duke freshman record with 20 rebounds in the second-ranked Blue Devils' 75-62 victory over Elon on Monday night.
Amile Jefferson added 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting and Justise Winslow had 12 points for Duke (9-0).
Okafor had the Blue Devils' first 20-rebound game since Elton Brand in 1998.
The Blue Devils showed the requisite rust while playing their first game in 12 days - finishing with a season-worst 17 turnovers and making just 14 of 27 free throws. But they never trailed and led by 20.
Luke Eddy finished with 16 points to lead Elon (5-5), which shot 42 percent to keep the final margin respectable.
The Phoenix -- who shoot 37 percent from three-point range -- made just five threes. But three of them came in a span of about 50 seconds early in the second half, and that made things momentarily tense.
Collin Luther hit from long range with just under 17 minutes left to make it 44-33.
Okafor followed by banking in a jumper to start the 11-2 run that restored Duke's comfortable lead. Winslow's 3 with 13 1/2 minutes left put the Blue Devils up 55-35.
Elon pulled within 12 points before Jefferson hit layups some 20 seconds apart and Rasheed Sulaimon followed with a jumper to put Duke up 63-45 with 8 1/2 minutes remaining.
Sulaimon finished with 11 points for the Blue Devils, who had been off for final exams since their 10-point win at No. 2 Wisconsin on Dec. 3.
Playing on his 19th birthday, Okafor broke the school's single-game rebounding mark for freshmen set in 1977 by Mike Gminski, who had 17.
This was the second double-double of his brief Duke career -- and he took care of this one by halftime with 10 points and 11 rebounds at the break.
Duke: The Blue Devils played for the first time since backup forward Semi Ojeleye left the program with plans to transfer. Duke and No. 1 Kentucky are the only remaining unbeatens who have won every game by double figures.
Elon: Two men on the Phoenix bench were no strangers to Cameron Indoor Stadium: assistant Jack Wooten and director of operations J.B. Tanner were on the 2008-09 North Carolina team that beat Duke here and went on to win the Tar Heels' last national title.
Elon visits UNC Greensboro on Saturday.
Duke plays Connecticut on Thursday night at East Rutherford, New Jersey.