Duke Overcomes Poor First Half to Down Michigan State 78-69; Amile Jefferson Records Another Double-Double

Brian HoraceGeneral Information, Results/ThoughtsLeave a Comment

Duke gets by the Michigan State Spartans 78-69 despite a very weak first half performance that had Duke turning the ball over 7 times. Defensively Duke did a poor job of getting back in transition and Michigan State pounced. Coach K was visibly perturbed at the lack of not only transition D but how easily Michigan State was able to get into the lane. Duke and Michigan State would draw even at the half 35-35.

The second half saw a different Duke team both defensively and offensively. After being tied at 48, Duke went on a 19-7 run in the blink of an eye fueled by a renewed commitment to defense and pressuring the ball. Grayson Allen was an offensive nightmare in the first half, taking ill-advised shots early in the shot clock and hunting for foul calls instead of moving the ball around and running offense. In the second half Allen would come alive ending his night with 24 points on 7 for 21 shooting but did shoot 5-11 from 3 point range. Amile Jefferson kept Duke in the fight the entire night with another double-double.  Jefferson scored 17 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for the Blue Devils. Jefferson also had 3 assists from his post position.

Duke shot awfully from 3 point range going 7-26 for 26.9% but pulled away by forcing Michigan State into 18 turnovers while committing 9 total and only 2 in the second half of play. Duke would turn 18 Michigan State turnovers into 19 points and also had 16 second chance points despite losing the rebounding battle 33-39 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Good:
Making second half adjustments both offensively and defensively.
Second chance points (16 to 2 advantage)
Points off of turnovers (19 to 11 advantage)
the most important thing to me was Duke came out and fought, I mentioned that this team had no dog in them and they showed that they did in that second half. They were tougher and played with emotion.

Bad:
Losing the rebounding battle to a smaller Michigan State team (33-39)
3 point shooting 26.9%
Free throw shooting was atrocious at 55% (11 of 20)