KUNSHAN, China – Highly recruited freshman guard Austin Rivers didn’t disappoint in his Duke debut.
Rivers, who’s considered to be one of the top freshmen in the nation, led the Blue Devils with 18 points and five assists in a 77-64 exhibition win over the Chinese Olympic Team. He shot 8-for-15 from the field.
"I felt very comfortable from the start of the game," Rivers said. "We got off to a little bit of a slow start but in the second half we came out and played well. We are excited about the way we played especially in the second half and looking forward to getting out there to continue to develop.”
Junior forward Ryan Kelly added 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Blue Devils, who held the home team in check with a solid defensive effort. China shot just 20-for-61 from the field and committed 19 turnovers.
Junior guards Andre Dawkins (15 points) and Seth Curry (13 points) combined for seven 3-pointers.
Duan Jiangpeng scored 19 points and made five 3-pointers for China, and Wang Zhelin scored 18 points with eight rebounds.
Duke will play the Chinese Olympic Team on Thursday in Shanghai and again Tuesday in Beijing as its exhibition tour continues.
David Scott has been with the Observer for 28 years and has written about ACC, SEC and other college sports in the Charlotte region. He covers Wake Forest, South Carolina and college soccer for the Observer and (Raleigh) News & Observer.
J.P. Giglio covers the ACC for the News & Observer, where he has worked since 1997, and the Observer.
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Chip Alexander covers the Carolina Hurricanes and college football for the News & Observer, where he has worked since 1979, and the Observer.
Luke DeCock has worked for The News & Observer since 2000. He covered the Carolina Hurricanes and the NHL before becoming a sports columnist for the Observer and News & Observer in August 2008.
Tim Crothers is an author and former senior writer at Sports Illustrated who is joining the sports staff to write a regular column during the rest of the college basketball season.