CHICAGO, Illinois – The No.1 ranked Duke Blue Devils defeated the No.2 Michigan State Spartans in the Champions Classic 88-81 on Tuesday night.
Duke’s senior guard Grayson Allen led all scorers with 37 points and showed the nation he is not afraid of shining on the big stage. Spartans’ sophomore forward Miles Bridges, a preseason National Player of the year frontrunner, had 19 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Bridges scored 16 points in the second half.
The Spartans were outrebounded 46-34 and gave up 25 offensive rebounds.
“I never in a million years thought we’d get outrebounded like that,” Tom Izzo, head coach of MSU, said. “Hold them to 39 percent, 30 percent in the first half, 27 from the three and the only way they scored was from the missed shot.”
In addition to rebounding, the Spartans also committed 17 turnovers to Duke’s nine.
“That was the focal point on us losing the game, rebounding, and turnovers,” Bridges said. “We knew we are a big team and they’re a big team too so they out-toughed us today.”
With 3:18 left, and the game locked at 75, Duke would get an offensive rebound and freshman Gary Trent Jr. hit a wide open three. Bridges could not answer with a missed three of his own on MSU’s next possession and Duke would go on an 11-2 run thanks to offensive rebounds.
“We played really bad and lost by seven, so I’m thinking if we play a little bit better and make one or two less silly mistakes down the stretch we’d win the game,” Jaren Jackson Jr, MSU freshman forward, said.
Izzo is now 1-11 all-time against Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, however, both teams could meet again come NCAA tournament time.
“I’m just more worried about making sure we learn how to move on and learn from our mistakes because this is the thing we can’t have reoccurring throughout the season,” Joshua Langford, MSU sophomore guard, said.