No. 1 Duke tops No. 2 Spartans behind Allen’s 37
Marvin Bagley III and the rest of Duke’s heralded freshmen are drawing a lot of attention, but the team’s only senior can play a little, too.
Grayson Allen scored a career-high 37 points, Trevon Duval had 17 points and 10 assists, and the top-ranked Blue Devils beat No. 2 Michigan State 88-81 in the Champions Classic in Chicago on Tuesday night.
Allen, who was joined by four freshmen in the starting lineup, delivered whenever his team needed a big play. The Blue Devils (3-0) lost Bagley to a right eye injury midway through the first half, but Allen made five three-pointers and scored 23 points in the second half to help make up for the absence of the highly touted newcomer.
“I’ve played in 90 more games than the four teammates that are out there with me,” Allen said. “I feel a little more comfortable and calm and confident out there. Watching a lot of film of me my last two years, it’s good sometimes to go 100 mph, but it’s also good to slow it down a few times, so that’s the adjustment I’ve tried to make and I think it makes me more comfortable out there.”
Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Nick Ward each scored 19 points for Michigan State, which blocked 12 shots — one shy of the school record. The Spartans (1-1) shot 51 percent from the field, but were outrebounded 46-34. They also struggled at times with Duke’s 2-3 zone.
Bagley was held out after he was swiped in the face by Javin DeLaurier with 10:09 left in the first half.
“His eye was starting to shut,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “At first, he had a hard time seeing out of the eye. It’s scratched. I think he’ll be fine.”
Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel III was not on the bench after his father, Jeff Capel Jr., died Monday at age 64. The elder Capel, a longtime basketball coach at the college and pro level, was diagnosed with ALS in the spring of 2016.
Duke guard Grayson Allen likes what he sees looking up at the scoreboard late in an 88-81 win over Michigan State.