Rocket Watts scored 20 points and No. 8 Michigan State produced a huge surge early in the second half to knock off No. 6 Duke 75-69 in the State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday night in Durham, N.C.
The outcome gave the Spartans (3-0) their first victory in four all-time visits to Cameron Indoor Stadium, where fans weren't permitted to attend because of coronavirus protocols on Duke's campus.
Michigan State outscored Duke 14-3 in the first five minutes of the second half, eventually building a 16-point lead. Turnovers haunted the Blue Devils (1-1) during the second half, a problem that resurfaced from the team's opening game last weekend.
Aaron Henry had 14 points for the Spartans, Julius Marble II chipped in 12 points, Joey Hauser supplied 11 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out and Malik Hall had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Matthew Hurt provided 21 points and 13 rebounds for Duke, which shot 5-for-23 on 3-point attempts. Jaemyn Brakefield and Jalen Johnson added 11 points apiece, and Jordan Goldwire contributed 10 points.
Duke closed within 71-66 in the final minute, but Johnson missed one of two free throws before Hall made two foul shots at the other end.
Michigan State had a strong stretch late in the first half to take a 37-33 edge to the break.
Duke built a 13-3 lead while Michigan State was on the way to 3-for-15 shooting from the field in the early going. The Spartans caught up, tying the score at 29-29.
The Blue Devils had shooting woes, too, making only one of their first seven 3-point attempts.
It marked the fifth consecutive season that the teams have faced off. This result avenged Michigan State's home loss last season.
The Champions Classic is normally a one-night doubleheader -- also featuring Kentucky and Kansas -- with matchups rotating, but the Michigan State-Duke game was shifted to Duke's campus because of the pandemic. As part of that arrangement, Duke agreed to play next season at Michigan State.
--Field Level Media