NEW YORK, Sporting Alert — Grayson Allen bounced back from his weak performance against Kentucky with a career-high for Duke against VCU in the opening round of the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.
Allen, who went missing against the Wildcats in the 74-63 defeat on Tuesday night, stepped off the bench to score 30 points in leading the fifth-ranked Blue Devils to a TCU 79-71 win over the Rams (Box Score).
The sophomore guard, who averaged 27 points in the first two games of the season, was held to six points on 2-for-11 shooting by Kentucky.
However, he played a team-high 37 minutes off the bench against VCU and shot 9-for-15 from the floor, including 4-for-8 from 3-pointers.
Allen also pulled down six rebounds in the win.
“For us, it’s all about moving on,” Allen told reporters. “There was obviously a rough film session after the Kentucky game where we talked about the improvements that needed to be made.
“Once you see that you move on to the next game. You make those improvements and move on. For me, coming off the bench it was nothing different as if I was starting. It’s the same aggressive, attacking mindset.”
Derryck Thornton, who started in Allen’s place on Friday night, scored 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting, with Matt Jones adding 10 points and six rebounds for Duke (3-1) which trailed 39-38 at halftime.
The Blue Devils played just seven players on Friday night.
On Sunday, they will take on Georgetown, which defeated Wisconsin 71-61, in the 2K Classic championship game.
Melvin Johnson led VCU with 20 points on 7-for-13 shooting, while making four 3-pointers.
Mo Alie-Cox had 15 points and Ahmad Hamdy-Mohamed added 10 off the bench.
Tyler Ulis scored a career-high 21 points, and No. 2 Kentucky beat Wright State 78-63 on Friday night.
Ulis, who was scoring in double-digits for the third time in four games this season, went 5-for-9 from the field and 10-of-12 from the free throw line.
The sophomore guard also ended with five assists and two steals.
Isaiah Briscoe scored 15 points and Jamal Murray and Skal Labissiere each added 13, while Alex Poythress ended with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the win for Kentucky (4-0).
Grant Benzinger led Wright State with 19 points and JT Yoho added 13 points and five boards in the loss for the Raiders (1-3) who went just 36 percent shooting from the floor.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL TOP 25 SCORES
Friday, November 20
No. 2 KENTUCKY 78, WRIGHT STATE 63
NO. 3 MARYLAND 65, RIDER 58
NO. 5 DUKE 79, VCU 71
NO. 6 VIRGINIA 87, LONG BEACH STATE 52
NO. 8 OKLAHOMA 85, MCNEESE STATE 56
NO. 11 VILLANOVA 86, EAST TENNESSEE STATE 51
NO. 13 MICHIGAN ST. 92, ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF 46
NO. 22 BUTLER 74, TEMPLE 69
NO. 20 BAYLOR 77, JACKSON STATE 60
XAVIER 86, NO. 24 MICHIGAN 70