Michigan State Falls To Duke, Rebounding and Turnovers the Reason
If you were to be told before the game that Michigan State would commit nearly twice as many turnovers as Duke and get outrebounded on the offensive glass 25-11, you wouldn't ask if Michigan State won, you'd probably ask "how bad was the score?"
In the face of those lopsided numbers, the #2 Spartans only lost by seven, 88-81 to #1 Duke on Tuesday at the United Center.
Michigan State kept themselves in the game shooting over 50% from the field (31-61) and got 12 blocks as a team in the contest.
Miles Bridges was willing this team to come back from deficits time and time again finishing with 19 points including 5-10 shooting from behind the arc. He also had a game high four blocks.
Bridges, Nick Ward and freshman Jaren Jackson Jr. each finished with 19 points to lead the Spartans.
Despite the turnovers and being outrebounded in the game, Michigan State's efforts were ultimately neutralized at every turn by Grayson Allen who put an early mark on his resume for the Wooden Award. He played all 40 minutes and put up 37 points including 7-11 from three range. He was also perfect at the free throw line (8-8).
Allen's shooting has gotten hot to start the season and stayed hot through the game against MSU. So far this season in three games he is shooting 65.4% (17/26) from deep.
Michigan State started the game well with an 8-4 lead less than four minutes in. However a 17-4 Duke run woke the Blue Devils up and while the teams traded buckets all through the rest of the half. Duke took the lead into the locker room 38-34 at half.
Early in the first half, Duke freshman Marvin Bagley Jr. had to be removed from the game due to an eye injury he suffered when he and a teammate were going up for a rebound. Bagley played 10 minutes scoring four points and gathering six rebounds before he got injured, and he could not return to the game.
Michigan State would take advantage of Bagley's absence with size mismatches in the frontcourt, winning the points in the paint battle 42-36.
Michigan State would get close consistently throughout the second half, and took the lead on a number of different occasions but the Spartans were done in at the end by a combination of a hot shooting Grayson Allen (scored the last 8 Blue Devils points from 2:27 to end of game) and an untimely cold streak (0-4 from the field after the game was tied at 75 with about three minutes left).
One play that should be called into question was the elbow delivered by Wendell Carter Jr. to Michigan State's Ben Carter going up the floor midway through the 2nd half.
The play was reviewed and called a "live ball contact technical". This carries the same penalties as a Flagrant 1 foul in what it means to the game. Cassius Winston went one for two from the line shooting the technical/flagrant/whatever you want to call it foul shots.
For those who thought Carter Jr. should have been assessed a Flagrant 2 and been ejected it's unlikely his two points and three rebounds after this incident would have affected the ultimate outcome to the game.
Michigan State is now 1-1 on the season and 3-4 all-time in the Champions Classic. This loss will sting a bit for MSU in terms of the all-time score between these two schools. As a program Michigan State is 2-12 vs Duke and Tom Izzo is 1-11 against Coach K in his career.
Michigan State's next game is at home on Sunday afternoon against Stony Brook. Tip-off for that one is at 4:00 P.M.