November 30, 2016 / 5:50 AM / a year ago

Duke blows past Michigan State in second half

Duke blows past Michigan State in second half

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke wasn’t going to let some off-the-mark shooting keep it down for long.

The fifth-ranked Blue Devils hit enough shots to burst into the lead and went on to defeat Michigan State 78-69 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

“Coach (Mike Krzyzewski) told us to keep shooting the ball,” said guard Grayson Allen, who scored 24 points and ignited a second-half burst.

Duke used only six players on a night with stifling conditions.

“It was obvious they were trying to wear us out,” Krzyzewski said. “And we were worn out. But we’ve got kids who know how to win.”

Luke Kennard’s 20 points, Amile Jefferson’s 17 points and 13 rebounds and Frank Jackson’s 11 points also lifted the Blue Devils, who won despite failing to have five double-figure scorers for the first time this season.

Duke (7-1) broke a 48-48 tie with a 9-0 run in less than 90 seconds, sparked by a three-point play from Allen at the 13:36 mark and followed by back-to-back drives for baskets by Jackson before Kennard’s jumper.

“Disappointed we kind of let an opportunity go in a two-minute stretch,” said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, whose team committed 18 turnovers. “Bad plays on our part and they got points off turnovers.”

The Blue Devils made it 11 points in a row on Allen’s two free throws.

“Whenever we got on a run like that in Cameron, you get the crowd behind you and it’s a huge boost,” Allen said.

Allen, who shot 2-for-10 in the first half (missing all five of his 2-point attempts), began to heat up early in the second half with a pair of 3-point baskets after the Blue Devils made only two of their first 14 long-range attempts.

“We were struggling shooting the ball and we got a couple of turnovers and that got us going,” Kennard said.

By the end, Duke shot 45.5 percent in both halves.

Eron Harris had 14 points, and Miles Bridges and Nick Ward each scored 11 for Michigan State, which fell to 4-4 while facing a grueling early schedule. Kenny Goins added 10 points.

Jackson picked up his fourth foul with 9:13 to play, but the Spartans didn’t do much to dent the margin with the freshman guard on the bench.

The teams played to a 35-35 first-half tie, with the largest lead belonging to the Michigan State at four points.

“I thought we competed well enough and played well enough to be ahead at halftime,” Izzo said. “We did a lot of things that were pretty good. We rebounded pretty decent ... Didn’t think our offense or our fast break was very good.”

Duke shot 2 of 11 on first-half 3-pointers.

The Spartans hit 51.6 percent of their field goals in the first half, but they were hurt by eight turnovers.

Jackson picked up his second foul with a charging call and sat out the last 7:50 of the first half.

Bridges, who pulled in a team-high nine rebounds, missed two dunk attempts late in the first half, but combined with reserves Joshua Langford and Ward to give Michigan State’s freshmen 17 of the team’s first-half points.

Duke played again without freshmen Marques Bolden, Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum, though Bolden and Giles went through an extensive warmup. The trio has yet to play because of injuries.

NOTES: Duke won its 130th consecutive non-conference home game. ... This was the third time Michigan State visited Duke in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge series, and the Spartans lost each time. ... Duke is 16-2 all-time in ACC-Big Ten Challenge games, the best mark of any team from either conference. ... Duke concludes its season-high four-game homestand Saturday against Maine. ... Michigan State, which has traveled to Honolulu, New York and the Bahamas this month, begins a stretch of five home games Saturday against Oral Roberts.

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