Duke holds off VCU at MSG


NEW YORK >> Grayson Allen bounced back from an off game against Kentucky by scoring a career-high 30 points, and No. 5 Duke beat VCU 79-71 in the opening round of the 2K Classic on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

Allen, who averaged 27 points in the Blue Devils' first two games of the season, was held to six points on 2-for-11 shooting by No. 2 Kentucky on Tuesday night in the Champions Classic. Facing the Rams, he looked a lot more like the player who had an exceptional Final Four in leading Duke to its fifth national championship last season.

He was 9 for 15 from the field, including matching his career high with four 3-pointers. He was the key to Duke's 17-3 run that turned VCU's last lead of the game, 54-53, into a comfortable 70-58 lead.

The Blue Devils (3-1) will face Georgetown, which beat Wisconsin, in the championship game Sunday.

Melvin Johnson led the Rams (2-1) with 20 points.


COLLEGE PARK, MD. >> Freshman Diamond Stone fueled a second-half surge that brought Maryland back from a 14-point deficit, and Jake Layman had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

The Terrapins (3-0) trailed 43-29 with 15:56 remaining and grabbed the lead for the first time when Rasheed Sulaimon scored on a runner in the lane with 5:19 left to make it 52-50.

It was 61-58 before Rider's Kahlil Thomas misfired on the front end of a 1-and-1. Sulaimon missed two foul shots on the other end, but Layman grabbed the rebound and clinched it with a pair of free throws.

Robert Carter Jr. scored 13 for Maryland and Stone added 12, including eight in a 15-3 spurt that got the Terps to 46-44. After starting the first two games, the 6-foot-11 Stone came off the bench to go 6 for 7 from the floor with five rebounds.

Thomas led Rider (0-3) with 14 points.


VILLANOVA, PA. >> Daniel Ochefu posted his third straight double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds and Villanova beat East Tennessee State in a preliminary round of the NIT Season Tip-off.

The Wildcats (3-0) blew the game open with a 24-0 run over a span of 8:26 in the first half, helped by nine turnovers by East Tennessee State.

Kris Jenkins had 17 points, and Phil Booth had 16 points — both career highs.

T.J. Cromer had 12 points for the Buccaneers (2-1).


EAST LANSING, MICH. >> Sophomore Javon Bess scored a career-high 16 points and Michigan State beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Denzel Valentine, the star Tuesday night in the Spartans' upset victory over Kansas, had 11 assists for the Spartans (3-0). Bryn Forbes had three quick 3-pointers and finished with 14 points. Matt Costello added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Spartans.

Ghiavonni Robinson scored 24 for the Golden Lions (1-2).

MIAMI 90, NO. 16 UTAH 66

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO >> Sheldon McClellan scored 27 points to help Miami roll past Utah in the Puerto Rico Tipoff, sending the Hurricanes on to the championship round.

Tonye Jekiri added 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Hurricanes (4-0). They will face No. 22 Butler on Sunday in the championship game.

Jordan Loveridge scored 18 points for Utah (3-1).


SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO >> Kellen Dunham scored 16 points to help Butler beat Temple in the second round of the Puerto Rico Tipoff.

Tyler Lewis scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half for the Bulldogs (3-0), Butler shot just 36 percent, including 5 of 21 from 3-point range, but shook off a slow start to stay unbeaten and advance to the Tipoff's championship game. Quenton DeCosey scored 24 points for the Owls (1-2).


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