Duke Loses Its Unbeatable Mystique In Loss To Gonzaga

Duke Loses Its Unbeatable Mystique In Loss To Gonzaga

Like numerous Blue Devils, Reddish struggled in the first half but found his stroke in the second half to finish with 10 points.

The college basketball world spent the first two weeks of the season with its mouth agape at the unstoppable force Duke had created by landing the top three freshmen in the class of 2018, and now, with an 89-87 win in an instant classic of a Maui Invitational final, Gonzaga has proved that the Blue Devils can be beaten.

The Bulldogs shot 64 percent, using slick passing to find shots in the paint and open 3-pointers, to lead by as many as 14 before taking a 47-39 lead at halftime.

Rui Hachimura hit the go-ahead layup with 1:15 left.

Halftime-Gonzaga 39-32. 3-Point Goals-Gonzaga 7-19 (Hachimura 2-3, Norvell 2-6, J.Jones 1-1, Perkins 1-2, Kispert 1-5, Petrusev 0-1, Crandall 0-1), IL 10-31 (Frazier 6-13, Jordan 2-6, Griffin 1-1, Dosunmu 1-3, Feliz 0-1, Williams 0-1, Nichols 0-2, Bezhanishvili 0-4).

The most the Blue Devils were down 16 points in the second half but led by Barrett, Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish, and Tre Jones the Blue Devils showed why they still ooze potential and can be one of the most unsafe teams in the country.

Duke is not going undefeated, Duke can not beat the Cleveland Cavaliers who only lost to a LeBron James led team by four points on Wednesday night. Guard Zach Norvell Jr. added 18 points and forward Brandon Clarke had 17 on 7-for-10 shooting. Clarke scored nine points in the first 10 minutes of play, including a put-back dunk and a triple as Marques Bolden struggled to handle his mobility defensively. The Zags leaped in celebration after a game with a Final Four feel packaged in a small-town rec centre.

Arizona (4-2) knocked off Iowa State in its opener before succumbing to No. 3 and eventual tournament champion Gonzaga's second-half onslaught in the semifinals.

After a pair of silent first halves against Auburn and San Diego State, Williamson was the focal point of Duke's offense from the onset.

On Monday, Bruce Pearl lamented that Auburn was "not very deep" after escaping with a Maui Invitational-opening overtime win against Xavier. 2 Kentucky look like a JV team.

"Zion Williamson and his 6'7", 285-pound frame remain an unsolvable problem early in the shot clock or when the Blue Devils are on the run, but Gonzaga's halfcourt defense supplied the active hands and unflinching contact to make the freshman uncomfortable in traffic, with a big assist from Hachimura's length. Williamson had seven offensive rebounds by himself.

"They were just dictating the flow", Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

The Zags swatted Duke's bid away.

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