The No. 1 Duke Blue Devils defeated the No. 2 Michigan State Spartans, 88-81, on Tuesday night from Chicago in the State Farm Champions Classic. It was a matchup of the nation’s top two teams to open the 2017-18 year, with senior Grayson Allen having a career night, taking over the game and making his early case for National Player of the Year honors.
Allen finished the night with a career-high 37 points on 11-for-20 shooting overall, including 7-for-11 from 3-point range. He is firing from long range at will to open what will be his final year of collegiate basketball, having gone 6-for-9 from deep in the season opener against Elon, before hitting 4-of-6 against Utah Valley.
The Blue Devils needed Allen’s scoring boost, as freshman Marvin Bagley III was limited to just 10 minutes. He was accidentally poked in the eye by a teammate during the first half, forcing him to the locker room after accumulating just four points and six rebounds.
Freshman forward Wendell Carter Jr. stepped in to play major minutes for Duke, finishing the night with his first career double-double, scoring 12 points and snatching 12 rebounds.
The Spartans have an All-American candidate of their own in sophomore Miles Bridges, who was quiet during the first half. He finished the night with 19 points, while shooting 5-for-10 from deep.
Duke next takes to the floor on Friday night when it hosts the Southern Jaguars from Cameron Indoor Stadium. Michigan State also returns home, set to face the Stony Brook Seawolves on Sunday afternoon from East Lansing.