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Duke Downs Michigan State, 74-65 In The Champions Classic

As Caleb Foster makes a major impression

Champions Classic: Duke v Michigan State
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 14: Kyle Filipowski #30 of the Duke Blue Devils moves the ball against Malik Hall #25 of the Michigan State Spartans during the first half of the Champions Classic game at United Center on November 14, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

The first part of the first half of Duke-Michigan State was an exercise in frustration for both teams. Although the Spartans started with a three - just their third of the season - both teams were shooting poorly and turnover prone.

Part of that was hard defensive work on both teams and part of it - at least for Duke - was at times just poor decisions and poor communication.

Duke finished the first half shooting 25 percent for threes and 45 percent overall but also had 10 turnovers, according to ESPN, but that may not have counted Mark Mitchell’s fumble after the Blue Devils took away Michigan State’s last shot attempt.

Michigan State managed just 15.4 percent for threes and 29 percent overall and trailed Duke in turnovers, but just slightly with nine.

The difference was at the line, where Duke hit 11-14 and Michigan State was 0-2. Seven of those 11 were from Mark Mitchell, who didn’t miss.

The scoring, as we said, started very slowly. It was 9-9 at the 12 and under timeout and both teams scored three more points by the 8-and-under. Duke basically pulled away in the last five of the first half and finished on a 12-2 run.

Jared McCain didn’t score in the first half but fellow freshman Caleb Foster got the first basket of his college career.

The second half was much better in every way. Both teams were more fluid. Turnovers lessened and Michigan State heated up and started to hit some threes, which has been a real problem and they pushed their way back into the game.

Still, even though the Spartans cut the lead to three, Duke kept its poise and did so much better than it did in the first half.

And we started to get a sense of just what Foster brings to this team.

Caleb Foster put Duke up by nine and then 12 on a pair of threes and he finished the night shooting 7-8 and 4-5 on threes. He really had a star turn Tuesday night.

One of the things that makes Michigan State such an admirable program is they never quit, and they didn't in this one either. Down 12, the Spartans cut it to eight before Ryan Young split on a pair of free throws to put Duke back up nine.

Unfortunately, he then fouled Tyson Walker, who also split his foul shots, leaving Duke up 69-61.

Jeremy Roach then hit a jumper to put Duke back up by 10 with 40.7 to play.

Michigan State then put Proctor on the line and he split his too.

Walker then got an easy, mostly not contested layup and he put Proctor back on the line where he hit both to put Duke back up 74-63.

The Spartans cut it to 74-65 on a layup by Tre Holloman and called timeout with 17.2 left.

Michigan State didn’t contest the final play and the Blue Devils walked away with a solid win over a very tough bunch of Spartans.

We’ll have more in a bit.


Player of the Game vs. Michigan State

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Mark Mitchell
    (11 votes)
  • 2%
    Kyle Filipowski
    (15 votes)
  • 1%
    Tyrese Proctor
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    Jared McCain
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Jeremy Roach
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Sean Stewart
    (4 votes)
  • 88%
    Caleb Foster
    (449 votes)
  • 0%
    Jaylen Blakes
    (3 votes)
  • 1%
    Ryan Young
    (10 votes)
505 votes total Vote Now