DURHAM, N.C. – Rocket Watts scored 20 points and Julius Marble had a career-high 12 to help No. 8 Michigan State beat No. 6 Duke 75-69 on Tuesday night in the Champions Classic.
The Spartans (3-0) closed the first half with a 13-4 surge to take a 37-33 lead at halftime. They maintained control in the second half with a balanced offense to go with their aggressive defense and rebounding.
“They are able to play at a consistently higher level than us due to their depth right now," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
The Blue Devils (1-1) led 13-3 before struggling to make shots or get stops. Duke shot just 32% from the field and allowed five Spartans to score in double figures.
“At the end of the half, I thought we got a little fatigued, I guess tired, and they took that lead," Krzyzewski said. “Then at the start of the second half, we didn’t meet their level of intensity like we should.”
Aaron Henry had 14 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks for the Spartans.
“We rode him like a horse," coach Tom Izzo.
Joey Hauser had 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Malik Hall added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Michigan State.