Watts scores 20, No. 8 Michigan State beats No. 6 Duke 75-69

Sports

(Duke University Sports Information photo)

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Rocket Watts scored 20 points and Julius Marble had a career-high 12 to help No. 8 Michigan State beat No. 6 Duke 75-69 on Tuesday night in the Champions Classic.

The Spartans (3-0) trailed by 10 early in the game but closed the first half with a 13-4 surge to take a 37-33 lead at halftime.

Michigan State maintained control in the second half, leading by as many as 16, with balance on offense to go with aggressive defense and rebounding.

The Blue Devils (1-1) rallied late and pulled within five in the final minute. They started strong and led 13-3 before struggling to make shots or get stops. Duke shot just 32% from the field and allowed five Spartans to score in double figures.

Joey Hauser had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Michigan State. Aaron Henry had 14 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks. Malik Hall added 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Matthew Hurt had 21 points and 13 rebounds for Duke, but freshman Jalen Johnson was limited to 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting after scoring 24 in his college debut.

Jaemyn Brakefield scored 11 and Jordan Goldwire had 10 points for the Blue Devils.

BIG PICTURE

Michigan State: Tom Izzo improved his coaching record to 3-12 against the Blue Devils with the Spartans’ first win at Duke, which didn’t have its raucous fans at Cameron Indoor Stadium due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Duke: Settling for jump shots proved to be a problem because they simply were not falling all night for the Blue Devils, who missed 14 of their first 15 3-pointers.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Michigan State should continue to climb in the AP Top 25, while Duke might slip a bit.

UP NEXT

Michigan State hosts Detroit on Friday night.

Duke hosts Bellarmine on Friday night.

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