DURHAM, N.C., Sporting Alert – Grayson Allen scored 16 of his 24 points in the second half, and No. 5 Duke defeated Michigan State 78-69 on Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Photo Gallery
Duke played again without freshmen trio Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden, even though they were all wearing uniforms and doing warmups with the team prior to tip-off.
Allen started slowly, scoring just eight points in the first half, but heat up after the break, including hitting some big three-pointers to help the Blue Devils (7-1) build a comfortable lead en route to a fifth straight game.
With his tally on the night, the Junior guard moved to 1,069 career points, which ranks him 57th on the Duke all-time scoring list.
Luke Kennard added 20 points and six rebounds, while Amile Jefferson finished with a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds for Duke.
Jefferson, who is averaging 14.0 points and 9.9 rebounds a game, was grabbing his fourth double-double this season.
Freshman Frank Jackson scored in double figures for the eight straight time this season, finishing with 11 points on 5 of 6 shooting, while grabbing four rebounds and three assists for the hosts, which moved to 16-2, including 8-0 at home in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Eron Harris scored 14 points for Michigan State (4-4) in the defeat.
Meanwhile, Matt Jones played 40 minutes, was just 1 of 7 from the field and missed all six of his 3-pointers, but Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said the senior guard “had a spectacular 2-point performance tonight.”
Jones, who matched a career high with four steals, played a key role in holding Spartans star guard Miles Bridges to 11 points.
“When you’re all about winning, you’re really important, and Matt Jones is only about winning,” Krzyzewski added.
Michigan shot 5 of 16 from 3-point range and had 18 turnovers in the defeat, which left coach Tom Izzo frustrated.
Izzo admits his team was just not good enough on the night as it played “too much AAU ball, not enough college ball.”
Nick Ward scored 11 points and Kenny Goins finished with 10 in the defeat for the Spartans, who begin a run of five home games this Saturday against the visiting Oral Roberts.
Duke will wrap up its four-game home fixture on Saturday when it plays host to Maine before travelling to New York to face No. 24 Florida on December. 6.