Top-25 foes clash in Maui Invitational
Maui, HI – A pair of top-25 teams meet in second-round action ranked Duke and 15th-ranked Michigan put unblemished records on the line at the Lahaina Civic Center this evening.
The Wolverines are 4-0 on the young season. After opening the year with wins over Ferris State, Towson and Western Illinois, Michigan was finally put to the test on Monday, taking on eighth-ranked Memphis. The Wolverines passed with flying colors in a 73-61 triumph.
Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils are 5-0 on the young season after getting past a tough Tennessee team on Monday, 77-67. Duke opened the year with wins over Belmont, Presbyterian, Michigan State and Davidson prior to heading to Hawaii and in the process, Coach K surpassed Bob Knight as the winningest coach in Division I history.
Duke leads the all-time series with Michigan 20-8 and has won eight of the last nine meetings, including a thrilling 73-71 decision in last year's NCAA Tournament.
Michigan has gotten it done this season with strong defensive play and timely scoring. Tim Hardaway Jr. leads the way through four games, shooting .478 from the field and putting up 16.0 ppg. Trey Burke is the only other Wolverine currently averaging double figures at 11.0 ppg. The team as a whole is averaging 63.8 ppg, but boasts of a +14.8 scoring margin, holding foes to a meager 49.0 ppg. It was once again strong defense in the win over Memphis on Monday, as Michigan held the Tigers to a .333 shooting performance, while outrebounding Memphis, 38-29. Hardaway led the way at the offensive end with a season-high 21 points. Burke added 14 for Michigan, which delivered on a strong 54 percent from the floor overall.
Austin Rivers continues to improve in his freshman season in Durham and if his career-high 18 points against Tennessee are any indication, the sky is the limit for the talented guard. Rivers was joined in double figures by Ryan Kelly and Seth Curry with 17 points apiece and Andre Dawkins, who chipped in with 10. Mason Plumlee added eight points to the cause, while grabbing a game- high 13 rebounds. Duke went 13-of-27 from the floor in both the first and second half of the game and used a 10-2 run in the second half to pull away for the win. On the season, it is Curry leading five Blue Devils in double figures with 16.0 ppg. Rivers isn't far behind at 14.2 ppg, followed by Kelly (13.6 ppg), Plumlee (11.4 ppg) and Dawkins (10.2 ppg).