Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Duke Defeats Michigan State in Game 1 of Champions Classic

The freshmen lead Duke Blue Devils defeated Michigan State 81-71 tonight.

In the first few minutes of the game Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor went off.  He scored 8 points, 2 steals, and an assist.  The top ranked freshman did a beautiful spin move to get to the bucket and then finished with a reverse layup.  Although he got into foul trouble later in the game, he still proved he is the real deal.

As the first half progressed, Michigan State stayed within striking range, but Duke held control of the game.  At halftime the Spartans were only down 40-33.

Travis Trice and Michigan State came out of the locker room, they slowly started to pick away at the Duke lead.  At one point they got the lead down to 3 points, but right after Duke responded with a 7-0 run.  The Spartans proved they could hang with Duke, but down the stretch they could not get a leg up on the Blue Devils.

Duke's strong play was led by freshmen Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow, and Tyus Jones.  Okafor finished with 17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals.  He gave the Blue Devils early momentum which carried over throughout the game.  On the other hand, Tyus Jones provided a late boost.  He scored 17 points and capitalized on a 4 point play that lead to Duke winning the game.  Justise Winslow brought the best of both worlds and produced steadily all night long.  He finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists.  The Duke freshmen proved they can lead the 4th ranked team through a tough battle against another one of the nation's top ranked teams.

Although Michigan State lost, Travis Trice still played an impressive game.  He scored 15 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds.  Trice led the shorthanded Spartans team through a hard-fought game tonight.  Although it's a tough loss, Michigan State can learn from this game and use it to better the rest of their season.

Tonight's game had a high excitement level all night.  Even in dull moments, the intense atmosphere still made the action seem interesting.  Tonight was only the start to a great season of college basketball.  Right after Duke proved they are a legitimate top team in the country, Kansas and Kentucky stormed the court to get their battle underway.  Come back later for a review of their game.

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