Nov 06, 2019 5:14 AM

No. 3 Kansas comes up short against 4th-ranked Duke 68-66

Posted Nov 06, 2019 5:14 AM

NEW YORK -- Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was pleased with his young team's poise in the season opener, especially that of sophomore Tre Jones.


Jones scored 15 points and Cassius Stanley added 11 of his 13 points in the second half to help No. 4 Duke beat third-ranked Kansas 68-66 in the opener of the Champions Classic on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.


"The difference maker was Tre. Lot of young guys, lot of new guys," Krzyzewski said. "We really tried to play good defense in our first 30 practices. We played really good defense (tonight). It starts with that kid. Really happy with my team. Terrific win for us."


While Duke doesn't have the star-studded freshmen class of last season of Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish and RJ Barrett, Krzyzewski may have a more balanced team, capable of making plays down the stretch when needed.


"One of the main things I have to learn how to do is sub," the Hall of Fame coach joked. "Last couple years might bring in one guy. All of a sudden there are three guys. Not sure I did a good job, but it worked."


Trailing 61-59 with 2:29 left, Stanley drove to the basket and made the layup and was fouled. The freshman guard converted the free throw to give the Blue Devils a one-point lead.


Devon Dotson missed a layup on the other end and Jones then hit a jumper that bounced off the rim twice before dropping in with 1:33 left.


Marcus Garrett got the Jayhawks back within one. After a miss by the Blue Devils, Kansas turned the ball over with 37 seconds left. It was the Jayhawks' 28th turnover of the game. Jones then converted two free throws with 26.2 seconds left.


Kansas had chances, but couldn't convert until Dotson banked in a meaningless 3-pointer at the buzzer. He finished with 17 points.


"We're disappointed in the outcome. That was a game that either team could have won multiple times. We had ourselves in good position in the second half and the game got away from us," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "It's a learning experience. Not sure a game win or lose on Nov. 5 will count much in March. There's a lot of things we can learn."


Self wasn't happy with the turnovers, but knows that it was the first game of the season.


"Duke's defense is better than the exhibition game. I think we played uncharacteristic," Self said. "I think we made easy plays difficult many times. A lot of that was the nerves, the environment. Guys wanted to do well so bad."


Tuesday's game marked the return of Kansas senior Udoka Azubuike, who played only nine games last year after tearing ligaments in his right hand. He had eight points. It also was the first game for Silvio De Sousa since the 2017-18 season. He was suspended for two seasons because of NCAA violations and sat out last year as Kansas was implicated in the FBI probe of college basketball. Kansas won an appeal that allowed De Sousa to play this year. He got a nice ovation from the fans when he checked in nearly 3:30 into the game. He finished with three points.


Duke led 33-30 at the half as neither team really got into much of an offensive rhythm in the opening 20 minutes. There was a lot of sloppy play with Kansas committing 18 turnovers. Despite all the miscues, the Jayhawks were able to stay in the game by hitting 10 of their 19 shots from the field.


No. 1 Michigan State played second-ranked Kentucky in the second game of the doubleheader. This is the first time in the nine-year history of the event that the four teams occupy the top four spots in the poll.


NIFTY PLAY: Stanley had back-to-back dunks on the break, both coming on assists from Tre Jones. The second one came when Jones threw a 45-foot bounce pass to a streaking Spencer who finished the play with a one-handed jam.


NOT SO FREE THROWS: Both teams struggled from the foul line with Kansas going 16 for 26 and Duke 14 for 23.


MSG MILESTONES: Krzyzewski has had many memorable moments at Madison Square Garden, including passing Bobby Knight with his 903rd career win in 2011 to become No. 1 on the all-time men's victory list. He also had his 1,000th career win at MSG in 2015.


"This is the one I love playing in after Cameron. Balls bounce different, the noise. Something about this place," Krzyzewski said. "I've now coached over 50 games in here. ... When eventually I stop coaching, I'll look back at the times here as very special times in New York."


UP NEXT:


Duke: Hosts Colorado State on Friday.


Kansas: Hosts UNC Greensboro on Friday.


--- Associated Press ---

Continue Reading St Joseph Post
Nov 06, 2019 5:14 AM
K-State opens season with 67-54 win over North Dakota State

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- The defending Big 12 Champions took the floor at home for the first time since cutting down the nets last year as Kansas State beat North Dakota State 67-54 on Tuesday night.


Cartier Diarra had 23 points, six rebounds and six assists, Makol Mawien had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds after the Wildcats lost their top three scorers off last year's team.


"We are a new team and we knew it'd be a really hard game," Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. "I'm happy for our guys; proud of them."


Rocky Kreuser led the Bison with 14 points, Tyson Ward had 12 and Sam Griesel was vital, providing eight points and nine rebounds. Kansas State kept 2019 Summit League Tournament MVP Vinnie Shahid quiet as he scored eight points, going 2-12 in the game.


North Dakota State brings back lots of experience from last year, including six of the top seven scorers, but it wasn't enough to take down Big 12 foe Kansas State.


The Bison, whose season ended in a second-round loss to Duke in the NCAA Tournament last season, gave the Wildcats all they could handle while leading the majority of the first half.


"We didn't come here to get beat by 13 and run out of here with smiles," North Dakota State coach David Richman said. "There is some encouraging things, to be up at half, to tie a Big 12 team on the glass on the road. There's some encouraging things to build on."


The Wildcats played three freshman -- Montavious Murphy, Antonio Gordon and DaJuan Gordon. They combined for seven points and 10 rebounds. Murphy led the team in minutes played.


"I felt great," Murphy said. "I just told myself I was going to come out here and play hard. I just wanted to make sure I played hard and I feel like I did that and we came out with the dub."


North Dakota State went to the line 25 times, shooting 64%. The Bison kept it close by hitting eight three-pointers, just short of their 9.5 makes per game last season.


The Wildcats proved to be no match for the Bison in the paint, scoring 34 points from inside and holding North Dakota State to 14.


"We talked about dominating two's and the points in the pain," Weber said. "We thought that had to be the difference for us."


Already up by five, the Wildcats went on a 6-0 run in the second half to extend their lead and never looked back.


HIGHLIGHT REEL


In the second half, Diarra found Mawien on an alley-oop which sparked the Wildcats as Kansas State used that momentum to close out the Bison.


BIG PICTURE


North Dakota State brings back most of its scoring from a team that went to the NCAA Tournament last year. Don't be surprised if they are playing on the big stage again this season.


The Wildcats are a much different team than they were last year. K-State will lean on Sneed and Diarra to carry the load.


UP NEXT


North Dakota State hosts Mayville State for their home opener at 7 p.m. on Thursday.


Kansas State travels to UNLV on Saturday for a 3 p.m. tip-off.


--- Associated Press ---