U-M Trails Duke by 10 at Half, loses 79-69

Special to GoBlueWolverine.com
Posted Dec 4, 2013

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Quinn Cook had 24 points and nine assists to help No. 10 Duke beat No. 22 Michigan 79-69 on Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Quinn Cook had 24 points and nine assists to help No. 10 Duke beat No. 22 Michigan 79-69 on Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Freshman Jabari Parker added 15 points to help the Blue Devils (7-2) regroup from last week’s loss to Arizona by grinding out a tough win against the Wolverines. Duke didn’t shoot the ball well early but frustrated Michigan’s offense, turning away every spurt and keeping the Wolverines (5-3) at arm’s length much of the game.

Andre Dawkins came in midway through the second half and hit two straight 3-pointers to finally start Duke’s clinching run, helping the Blue Devils to improve to 13-2 all-time in the Challenge — by far the best record for a team in either conference — including 6-0 at famously hostile Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Caris LeVert matched his career-high with 24 points for Michigan, though leading scorer Nik Stauskas struggled all game.

Rodney Hood added 14 points for the Blue Devils, while Mitch McGary finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds for Michigan.

Stauskas, who missed the last game with an ankle injury, finished with four points. After five straight 20-point games before sitting out against Coppin State, Stauskas missed his only two shots and managed just one 3-point attempt in 34 minutes.

The Wolverines shot 57 percent in the second half, but dug themselves a big hole early with a miserable start that included missing 17 of their first 21 shots. They never fully recovered, though they twice cut a 32-22 halftime deficit to six, the last time at 46-40 on LeVert’s three-point play with 9:01 left.

But Dawkins entered the game and quickly hit two 3s for his first baskets that started an 11-2 run, which ended with his driving layup over Zak Irvin to push Duke’s lead to 57-42 with 6:43 left.

Cook knocked down a 3 during the spurt that finally put the Blue Devils in control and he came up with a spinning layup in the lane to beat the shot clock to make it 66-50 with 2:52 left. It was a strong all-around game for Cook, who finished with two turnovers in 37 minutes and made all 10 of his free throws.

It was also a welcome bounce back effort for the Blue Devils, who lost Friday to the Wildcats in the finals of the NIT Season Tip-Off in New York. The Blue Devils had trouble with Arizona’s size up front and finished with a season-low 66 points, and they shot a season-low 43.1 percent against both Alabama and Arizona in their two NIT games at Madison Square Garden.

Duke didn’t shoot the ball well early, but shot 60 percent in the second half to eventually pull away from the Wolverines and finished at 50 percent for the game.

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