SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Playing on the road for the first time in their collegiate careers did not rattle Duke’s talented freshmen. They were looking forward to it.
“It was great, just getting to see different scenery, getting to see some snow out here,” DJ Steward said after scoring 16 points and grabbing a team-high seven rebounds to help the 21st-ranked Blue Devils beat Notre Dame 75-65 Wednesday night.
“I’m used to the snow,” added Steward, a Chicago native, “but a lot of our guys aren’t.”
Even the atmosphere inside the arena caught Steward’s attention. While the Fighting Irish are allowing a light smattering of family and friends to attend games during the pandemic, Duke hasn’t been permitting any outsiders back home at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“You can kind of feel the energy a little bit,” Steward said of the contrast.
With sophomore Matthew Hurt scoring 18 points, and freshmen Jeremy Roach and Jaemyn Brakefield adding 12 and 10, respectively, the Blue Devils (3-2, 1-0) won their Atlantic Coast Conference opener convincingly.
“We’re ecstatic about the win,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “(Notre Dame coach Mike Brey’s) team is a very difficult team to defend. They have all these shooters and he’s one of the best in teaching offense, and they’re a veteran team, so for our guys to beat them, we feel great about it.”
Dane Goodwin scored 25 points for the Irish (2-3, 0-1), hitting 10 of 12 shots from the field with four 3-pointers. Prentiss Hubb added 12 points.