FINAL: Spartans falter down the stretch to No. 1 Duke, falls 88-81
CHICAGO — No. 2 MSU fell to No. 1 Duke 88-81 in the Champions Classic and fell to 1-1 on the young season.
In the first half, Duke vastly out-rebounded MSU 25-17, 15 coming on offense, as the Spartans were getting worked on the boards. However, MSU put up eight blocks in the first half, minimizing second chance opportunities for the Blue Devils. MSU went into the half down four after a buzzer beater 3-pointer from guard Grayson Allen.
The game stayed close until around two minutes left in the game as Duke had a four-point lead. But from there, Allen took over and nailed a 3-pointer which was immediately followed by a Cassius Winston turnover which Duke turned into an uncontested two points. From there, the nine-point lead was too much to overcome with 46.1 seconds left.
Leading the way for Duke was Allen who had 35 points on seven 3-point shots. Touted freshman Marvin Bagley Jr. left the game in the first half after getting hit in the eye by a teammate.
For the Spartans, freshman forward Jaren Jackson Jr. had a team-high 19 points, joining forwards Miles Bridges and Nick Ward. The trio all scored 19 apiece to lead the team.
MSU will host Stony Brook back in East Lansing on Sunday at 4 p.m.