spartans

Duke pounds the glass, tops Spartans 88-81

John Ott

CHICAGO – Grayson Allen is making headlines again, this time for all of the right reasons. The senior recorded a career-high 37 points as the (#1) Duke Blue Devils topped the (#2) Michigan State Spartans 88-81 in the State Farm Champions Classic.

But the scoreline was not as close as it looked.

Despite giving up a staggering amount of offensive rebounds and costly turnovers the Spartans fought until the bitter end.

Moral victories aside, Spartans head coach Tom Izzo will have something to address to his team in terms of execution and effort. The Spartans committed 17 turnovers and lost the rebounding edge 46-34. MSU was flat out dominated by the offensive glass to the tune of 25-11 despite Duke running a 2-3 zone the entire contest.

Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke team is yet another squad that is young and loaded with talent. His starting five features four freshmen to go along with the lone senior who scored 37 points. But on this night, Allen was busy making positive headlines. In case you forgot, Grayson is looking to put the past behind him. See the article from the Washington Post here: http://wapo.st/2zEW2X7

Taking the lead for the Blue Devils was Allen (7-for-7 from three-point range and 8-for-8 from the free-throw line) who led all scorers with 37 points.

Wendell Carter added a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman point guard Trevon Duval recorded a strong all-around game as he tallied 17 points, 10 assists, three rebounds, six steals and a block for the Blue Devils.

Jaren Jackson (7-for-10 from the field) finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. Former Detroit U-D Jesuit standout Cassius Winston (1-for-5 shooting) finished with three points, two rebounds, and 11 assists.

Sophomore Miles Bridges (5-for-10 from three-point range) added 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and four blocks for the Spartans. Bridges decided to return to college for a shot at winning the NCAA title despite being a possible top-5 pick in the NBA draft.

Michigan State is 4-20 all-time against No. 1 teams (per NCAA.com stats tool).

Duke’s Marvin Bagley III had four points and six rebounds before exiting with an eye injury.

In the nightcap of the event, the (#4) Kansas Jayhawks held off the (#7) Kentucky Wildcats 65-61.

See the video recap here: http://bit.ly/2zBY9vf

ON TAP

The Southern University Jaguars take on Duke Friday.

The Stony Brook Seawolves head to East Lansing to visit the Spartans on Sunday.