The Duke men’s basketball team returned to Madison Square Garden on Thursday night and had a better result than their first visit a few weeks ago. The Blue Devils pulled away to beat UCLA, 80-63 in the CARQUEST Auto Parts Classic. It was their first meeting in 11 years.
Duke pulled ahead at the tip and had a ten point lead with 12:56 to go in the first half. UCLA was struggling rebounding the basketball (10-2 deficit on the boards), but the Bruins battled back to take the lead with 7:54 to go in the opening half. The game went back-and-forth from there, as it was tied at 37-37 at halftime.
The UCLA comeback came with Duke forward Rodney Hood on the bench. He picked up two fouls in the first half with 9:31 to go. He finished the game with 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting and five rebounds.
The game was tied at 45-45 with 15:42 to go before Duke pulled away. Every time UCLA tried to make another comeback, Duke answered with another back breaking basket.
Duke shot 47% from the field and made 11 three pointers. They also had 21 assists on 31 made field goals. Duke out-rebounded UCLA, 41-35.
In the big win, the Blue Devils received a ton of contributions from their bench, something they have not had all season. Amile Jefferson scored 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting. He hauled in eight rebounds and had two assists. Rasheed Sulaimon scored eight points, hauled in six rebounds, and dished out four assists (just one turnover). Andre Dawkins only made on shot, but it was a first half three pointer that originally gave Duke their ten point lead.
There were also the usual suspects. I already mentioned Hood. Freshman Jabari Parker put up a double-double: 23 points (7-of-13 shooting) and ten rebounds. He also had five assists to two turnovers. Quinn Cook scored 14 points, dished out five assists, and had seven steals. He did commit four turnovers.
For the Bruins, Kyle Anderson scored 15 points, hauled in ten rebounds, dished out seven assists, and had four steals. He also committed six turnovers. Jordan Adams, their leading scorer at 21+points per game, was held to ten points. David Wear, a former North Carolina player, scored 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting and hauled in five rebounds.
Next up for the Blue Devils is a matchup with Eastern Michigan on Saturday, December 28th.