No. 10 Duke regroups with 79-69 win over No. 22 Michigan
Andre Dawkins came back a little. Duke’s defense grew a little.
And Michigan did what it and most Big 10 teams usually do against the Blue Devils. The No. 22 Wolverines left Cameron Indoor Stadium with a loss to No. 10 Duke Tuesday night, 79-69.
“When they got it down to six points, we called a set for Andre,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said of a second-half sequence when Michigan sliced a 12-point deficit to 46-40. “Andre, those two 3s, were just huge.”
Dawkins’ baskets 42 seconds apart enlived the crowd of 9,314, sophomore Quinn Cook added another 3-pointer with 7:23 left and Dawkins’ drive down the right side of the lane pushed the margin to 57-42 with 6:43 to play.
“I just came off the bench, coach called my number on the offensive end, and luckily I was able to just come in and knock a couple of shots down,” Dawkins said.
“That was a huge difference for us,” Michigan head coach John Beilein said. “Big makes by them, and we couldn’t come back again after that.”
Duke (7-2) won for the 10th time in its last 11 outings against Michigan (5-3), and climbed to 13-2 all-time in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge. The ACC led after the first night, 4-2.
Dawkins, who sat out last year mentally recovering from the death of his sister, scored just eight points. But as Krzyzewski said, everyone contributed a little something to a bigger accomplishment.
Even Rasheed Sulaimon, Krzyzewski said, from his spot on the bench the entire game.
Defensively, Duke continued its growth pattern first exhibited in Madison Square Garden at last week’s Preseason NIT semis and finals. The primary target was Michigan’s Nik Stauskas, a 20 points per game scorer coming off a missed game because of an ankle injury. He played 34 minutes but produced only four free throws and took two floor shots against three turnovers.
“We felt Stauskas was the best 2-guard we had faced this season so far,” Krzyzewski said. “We didn’t give up any 3s in transition. In the half-court, there was an emphasis on keeping the ball out of his hands, and keeping him away from his normal operating area.”
“They really tried to keep Stauskas’ touches low, and they did a great job of that,” Beilein said. Asked if his injury contributed to his production, Beilein said he didn’t know and added, “Duke’s defense was really good.”
Michigan, meanwhile, chose to try and put the clamps on freshman Jabari Parker and sophomore Rodney Hood.
“We tried to load up on them and it didn’t work,” Beilein said. “Cook and Dawkins hit big shots.”
Cook led the Blue Devils with 24 points, all in the second half, hitting 10 of 10 at the foul line. Parker added a season-low 15 points and Hood 14.
Duke’s scoring spurts were punctuated when they ruled the glass. The Blue Devils had a 32-31 rebounding edge, with four players claiming four or more.
Mitch McGary, a bruiser inside, led Michigan with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Caris LaVert, a winnowy wing, scored 20 of his 24 points after intermission.
“We played so hard on the defensive end, and we beat an outstanding team,” Krzyzewski said.
Duke never trailed and was never tied, taking a 32-22 lead at intermission. Michigan scored just nine points in the first 15 minutes.
“I think at the beginning of the season, we started off just guarding our man and hoping our man doesn’t score, rather than helping each other,” Hood said. “The last three games, even against Arizona, we really helped each other out. And we’re getting better.”
Little by little.
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