Foster, Filipowski lead way as No. 9 Duke beats No. 18 Michigan State 74-65
CHICAGO — Caleb Foster looked more like a player who had been there and done that than a freshman in his third game.
Foster made one big basket after another, scoring 18 points to help propel No. 9 Duke to a 74-65 win over No. 18 Michigan State in the Champions Classic on Tuesday night. And he did it after not attempting a shot in the Blue Devils’ previous game.
Kyle Filipowski scored 15 points for the Blue Devils (2-1), who withstood several pushes by the Spartans (1-2) after grabbing an 11-point halftime lead in the first game of a powerhouse doubleheader. Hunter Dickinson and top-ranked Kansas met No. 17 Kentucky in the nightcap.
Foster scored all but two of his points in the second half, including back-to-back 3-pointers to expand Duke’s lead to 68-56 with just under two minutes remaining. He was 7 of 8 from the field and 4 of 5 from beyond the arc.
There have been plenty of highs and lows already for Foster, who scored 15 points in a season-opening win over Dartmouth but was scoreless in 13 minutes in a home loss last week to then-No. 12 Arizona.
“My mindset was just to be ready when coach called my name,” Foster said. “Before the game, my teammates and my coaches were just telling me to be ready. I feel like I work hard for this moment, it’s a moment I’ve dreamed of, and so, yeah, just coming in and be ready.”
Fair to say, he impressed coach Jon Scheyer.
“Every high school player in the country should follow what he’s done the last two games because it’s what it’s all about, the attitude, the mindset, the work, he’s crushed it,” Scheyer said.
Filipowski, who scored 25 points in each of Duke’s first two games, had 10 points in the second half. The preseason All-American grabbed eight rebounds.
Mark Mitchell and Tyrese Proctor each scored 13 points as Scheyer got a win in front of his hometown crowd. He starred at Glenbrook North High School — about 25 miles from the United Center in Northbrook, Illinois — before becoming an All-American player and longtime assistant for Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski.
Tyson Walker led Michigan State with 22 points and Malik Hall scored 18. The Spartans shot 6 of 19 on 3-pointers after going 2 for 31 during their first two games, a season-opening loss to James Madison and a blowout win over Southern Indiana.
Michigan State fell to 4-15 all-time against Duke — 3-14 under coach Tom Izzo.
“I think we got a damn good team,” Izzo said. “I really do. We haven’t played very good. We haven’t played very good. We’re going to play good. But why am I 3-14? I would like to know what their record is against a bunch of other people. They’re good, you know, give ’em credit, they’re good. Give me blame, because I’ve had different players and still lost so it’s got to be the coach.”
The Spartans had a sizable contingent of fans that included Magic Johnson roaring early in the second quarter when they went on a 9-2 run to pull within four, capped by a put-back by Jaden Akins to make it 35-31.
Duke answered with a 12-2 run to bump the lead to 47-35. But Michigan State kept it close and got within 51-48 on a 3 by Tyson Walker.
Michigan State: Let the panic begin in East Lansing with the Spartans below .500 after opening the season ranked fourth in the AP Top 25. Actually, they showed some resolve in the second half. But the 3-point shooting remains an issue.
Duke: The Blue Devils got the win they needed after the loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Michigan State: Hosts Butler on Friday.
Duke: Hosts Bucknell on Friday.