DURHAM, N.C.—Three players scored in double figures and UNCG led for much of the first half but No. 5 Duke proved too much as the Spartans suffered a 90-63 setback, Monday at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Kyle Randall led UNCG with 12 points, while Derrell Armstrong had 11 and Aaron Brackett chipped in with 10 points.
UNCG (2-10) frustrated the Blue Devils (10-1) for most of the first half, holding Duke to just two field goals in the first nine minutes. Armstrong capped a 9-3 run with a layup at the 11:58 mark to give UNCG a 16-11 lead.
Duke briefly regained the lead when Mason Plumlee's jumper with 9:32 left in the half made it 17-16. But the Spartans didn't go away. Back-to-back jumpers by Brackett and a three-pointer by Randall made it 24-21 with 7:31 left before halftime.
But the Blue Devils slowly regained control of the game in the final five minutes. After Ryan Kelly gave the Blue Devils a 25-24 lead with a pair of free throws at the 6:50 mark, Duke closed the half by out-scoring the Spartans 20-10 and taking a 45-34 lead into the break.
The Blue Devils pulled away early in the second half, taking their first 20-point lead of the night when a jumper by Quinn Cook made it 59-38 with 12:51 to go.
Duke eventually led by as many as 35 points (80-45) before settling for the final margin. The Blue Devils shot 59 percent from the field in the second half, while holding the Spartans to 35 percent over the final 20 minutes.
The Spartans shot 41 percent for the game, and were just 11-of-22 from the free throw line. UNCG forced the Blue Devils into 18 turnovers and picked up 10 steals. David Williams led the Spartans with four thefts.
Duke ended up shooting 54 percent for the game, including a 10-of-21 from three-point range. The Blue Devils out-rebounded UNCG, 46-27.
Mason Plumlee led Duke with 15 points and 13 rebounds, while Cook and Austin Rivers each scored 14.
UNCG returns to action when it hosts VCU, 7 p.m., Thursday at Greensboro Coliseum.