Duke Comeback Topples Georgetown


After trailing much of the first half, Duke rallied to beat Georgetown, 81-73, in Madison Square Garden on Friday.

The top-ranked Blue Devils trailed by as many as 11 points, a season high, and trailed the Hoyas for more than 17 minutes in the first half, also a season high. A 13-2 run late in the first half allowed the Blue Devils to tie the game at halftime.

Duke then scored the first six points of the second half and were able to hold on to the lead to win the 2K Empire Classic, beating Georgetown in the final for the second time in five seasons.

The win moved Duke to 5-0 on the year and gave the Blue Devils a comeback win in a hard-fought physical game.

Referees called a total of 52 fouls in the game, including 13 offensive fouls and a technical on Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing. Foul trouble limited Mac McClung, Georgetown’s leading scorer the previous night, to 13 minutes and six points. Leading scorer Omer Yurtseven had just 23 minutes.

Duke struggled to get its offense to produce in the early going. The Blue Devils made just eight of their first 25 shots, most of them by center Vernon Carey, who scored 12 of Duke’s first 20 points. The Blue Devils made six straight shots late in the half to rally, however.

The Blue Devils dominated the boards, outrebounding Georgetown by a 43-29 margin and grabbing 19 offensive rebounds that led to 16 second-chance points.

Four Blue Devils scored in double figures, led by Cassius Stanley’s 21. Carey finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds in his fourth straight double-double. Wendell Moore had 17 points, and Tre Jones 13 with seven assists.

Duke now has as many wins at Madison Square Garden this season as they do Cameron Indoor Stadium (three each). They also have as many MSG wins as the Knicks.