Duke overpowers Michigan, 79-69
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke played the defense its Hall of Fame coach wanted to see, while Quinn Cook turned in an all-around floor game to keep the 10th-ranked Blue Devils rolling in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Cook had 24 points — all in the second half — and nine assists to help Duke beat No. 22 Michigan 79-69 on Tuesday night, improving the Blue Devils to 13-2 all-time in the annual interconference competition.
Freshman Jabari Parker added 15 points to help the Blue Devils (7-2) regroup from last week’s loss to Arizona by grinding out a tough win against the Wolverines. Duke didn’t shoot the ball well early but frustrated Michigan’s offense, turning away every spurt and keeping the Wolverines (5-3) at arm’s length much of the game.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said his team played “an outstanding defensive game,” which began with forcing the Wolverines to miss 17 of their first 21 shots to put them in a hole they never escaped.
“Each of the teams I’ve coached here has to develop its own identity, even though we’re given a place that’s very high before we ever accomplish anything because of our history,” Krzyzewski said. “… We’re not a great basketball team. We have great kids and they’re trying hard. We have a really tough schedule and we have to just keep trying to get better.”
The positives for Duke started with Cook, who finished with just two turnovers in 37 minutes in what Krzyzewski called a “magnificent” performance. It also included Andre Dawkins, who hit two straight 3-pointers midway through the second half to spark Duke’s clinching rally after Michigan had pulled within six points.
“Guys are stepping into their roles, roles are changing,” Cook said. “It’s a long season. You can’t just stay the same the whole season. We kind of want to keep getting better and keep teams on their toes. We’ve got a long ways to go.”
Duke’s 13-2 record in the Challenge is by far the best for a team in either conference, including 6-0 at famously hostile Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Caris LeVert matched his career-high with 24 points for Michigan, though leading scorer Nik Stauskas struggled all game.
Mitch McGary finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds for Michigan, while Stauskas — who missed the last game with an ankle injury — finished with four points.
After five straight 20-point games before sitting out against Coppin State, Stauskas missed his only two shots and managed just one 3-point attempt in 34 minutes.
Michigan shot 57 percent in the second half, though that number was inflated by the Wolverines hitting seven shots in the frantic final 2 minutes after Duke had built an 18-point lead.
“They did a good job of denying Nik and making it tough for him to score,” LeVert said. “… We didn’t knock down shots. We didn’t do the things we needed to win.”
Michigan twice cut a 32-22 halftime deficit to six, the last time at 46-40 on LeVert’s three-point play with 9:01 left.
But Dawkins entered the game and quickly hit two 3s for his first baskets that started an 11-2 run, which ended with his driving layup over Zak Irvin to push Duke’s lead to 57-42 with 6:43 left.
“Big makes by them,” Michigan coach John Beilein said, “and we couldn’t come back after that.”
Cook knocked down a 3 during the spurt that finally put the Blue Devils in control and he came up with a spinning layup in the lane to beat the shot clock to make it 66-50 with 2:52 left.
It marked the first time all season that Parker or Rodney Hood didn’t lead Duke in scoring.
Parker came in averaging 23 points and finished with a season-low for the second straight game, going back to his 19 points against Arizona. Hood was averaging 20 and finished with 14.
“I personally don’t want to score all the time and shoot all the shots,” Parker said. “I just want to do what we’ve got to do to win. If it’s there, take it, but if I know guys are closing in on me, somebody else is going to be open.”
Duke’s Rasheed Sulaimon didn’t play for the first time this season. Krzyzewski said only that Sulaimon — who averaged 11.6 points last season — has “got to play better than the guys who played tonight” when asked about the sophomore’s playing time.