Game 1: Duke Blue Devils at Michigan State Wolverines
On paper, the perimeter strength of Michigan State (10-2) seems to outweigh the interior domination of Duke. But Duke (9-3) beat Michigan St. in the championship game of Preseason NIT by a score of 71-56. Then a few weeks later the Spartans were totally destroyed by the Blue Devils to the tune of 86-54 when playing them in Durham, NC. Today’s game is in Lansing, Michigan so can the Spartans reverse the story? In addition, Duke is coming into today’s game on a two-game losing streak whereas Michigan State is riding a 6-game win streak.
Starting for Duke:
6-1 Sr PG Al Brown, 5.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 4.6 apg
6-4 So SG Andre Davis, 15.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.9 apg
6-6 Fr SF Lionel Dukes, 14.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.1 apg
6-6 Fr PF Ime Selden, 7.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.1 apg
6-9 Sr C Eric Smith, 9.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.4 apg, 2.2 spg, 2.3 bpg
Starting for Michigan State:
5-11 Fr PG Marques Ferguson, 9.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 5.4 apg
6-6 Jr SG Deon Boardman, 23.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.7 spg, 1.5 bpg
6-7 Jr SF Blake Anderson, 14.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.2 apg
6-7 So PF Marino Brown, 4.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.0 apg
6-10 Jr C Mike Bersticker, 7.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.3 apg
Defensively center Eric Smith is a beast for Duke. The top defensive and offensive player for Michigan State is SG Marques Ferguson.
1. Can Duke’s experience at PG contain the Spartans’ talented freshman PG?
2. Can Michigan State’s high-scoring SG have a big game?
3. The SF’s for both teams have very similar statistics so will one gain an advantage today?
4. Will either PF deliver a strong game?
5. Can Duke’s center totally dominate inside?
1st half highlights:
• Selden (D) had two blocks in first possession by Michigan State.
• Bersticker (MS) called for 2nd at 13:53 mark with Michigan State leading 10-7.
• Ferguson (MS) scored 8 points in first 7 minutes.
• Duke shot poorly early in the half to allow Michigan State to open a small lead.
• Turnovers plagued Duke and Michigan State shot well to take 23-13 lead with 9 minutes left in the half
• Spartans bombed away from outside, hitting 10 of 19 threes in the first half.
• Fans definitely provided home court advantage to Spartans.
• Michigan State pulled away for 46-34 halftime lead.
• Guard duo of Ferguson and Boardman carried the Spartans with Ferguson dropping in 17 and Boardman chipping in 12 in the half and combined to knock down 9 of 12 threes. Anderson added 9. For Duke, Davis scored 12 while Smith scored 6 and hauled down 7 boards.
2nd half highlights:
• Davis (D) scored almost at will but Boardman and Ferguson (MS) offset his performance by continuing to knock down shots from outside.
• Throughout most of the 2nd half Michigan State held a 10-15 point advantage.
• Duke cut the lead to 7 with 6 minutes to go in the game, but Michigan State poured in the next 11 points to put the game out of reach.
Final score was 82-70 in favor of the Spartans.
• Duke controlled the boards, 42-31 but turned the ball over 16 times to Michigan States’ 10 turnover. The Spartans outshot the Blue Devils 45% to 39% and hit 19 of 41 threes. Michigan State got to the foul line just 5 times (there were a total of 12 team fouls against Duke). Duke went to the line 15 times (Michigan State was called for 16 team fouls).
• Offensively Michigan State was led by their 3 perimeter players: Boardman with 29, Ferguson with 25, and Anderson with 15. Ferguson also dished out 10 assists. Defensively Brown had 4 steals and 3 blocks and Anderson had 5 blocks and a steal.
• Duke’s Davis finished with high-point honors, scoring 32 points. He also pulled down 10 rebounds. Smith hauled down 13 boards. Selden and Smith combined for 5 steals and 4 blocks.
Top 5 players:
1. PG Marques Ferguson (MS)-25 pt, 10 a, 4 r, 2 s (hit 9 of 16 FG and 7 of 10 threes)
2. SG Andre Davis (D)-32 pt, 10 r (20 pts in the 2nd half)
3. SG Deon Boardman (MS)-29 pt, 4 a, 1 r, 2 s, 2 b (17 pts in the 2nd half)
4. SF Blake Anderson (MS)-15 pt, 5 a, 9 r, 1 s, 5 b
5. C Eric Smith (D)-7 pt, 2 a, 13 r, 3 s, 1 b (held Bersticker and his replacement to just 4 pts and 7 reb)
Answers to pre-game questions:
1. No, Michigan State’s PG Marques Ferguson completely burned Duke the entire game.
2. Yes, Deon Boardman had a great game.
3. Michigan State’s Blake Anderson had a very strong game (15 pts, 5 assists, 9 rebounds, 1 steal, 5 blocks) and completely out-played his counterpart.
4. Neither PF had a strong game offensively, but both were very dominant defensively (Duke’s Ime Selden had 2 steals and 3 blocks; Michigan State’s Marino Brown had 4 steals and 3 blocks).
5. While not dominating, Duke’s Eric Smith played a very solid game (7 points, 2 assists, 13 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block).