Allen's 30 points lead No. 5 Duke past Johnson, VCU 79-71


Allen's 30 points lead No. 5 Duke past Johnson, VCU 79-71

NEW YORK (AP) -- Grayson Allen didn't wait very long to bounce back from an off night. It took one game.

Just three days after a rough performance against No. 2 Kentucky, Duke's sophomore guard came up with a career-high 30 points as the fifth-ranked Blue Devils beat TCU 79-71 on Friday night in the opening round of the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden.

Allen, who averaged 27 points in the Blue Devils' first two games of the season, was held to six points on 2-for-11 shooting by Kentucky on Tuesday night in the Champions Classic. Facing the Rams, he looked a lot more like the player who had an exceptional Final Four in leading Duke to its fifth national championship last season.

"For us, it's all about moving on," Allen said. "There was obviously a rough film session after the Kentucky game where we talked about the improvements that needed to be made. Once you see that you move on to the next game. You make those improvements and move on. For me, coming off the bench it was nothing different as if I was starting. It's the same aggressive, attacking mindset."

He was 9 for 15 from the field, including matching his career high with four 3-pointers. He was the key to Duke's 17-3 run that turned VCU's last lead of the game, 54-53, into a comfortable 70-58 lead with 5:43 to play.

"We have a thing on our team, a standard, we tell each other the truth. So you confront it," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "He didn't play well against Kentucky. He didn't have a good look and he didn't adjust. That was his first big time start too, it's not like Grayson's a combat veteran. So I was hard on him but honest.

"The response that Grayson had from Kentucky is huge. I think it's spectacular to be quite frank with you. Most kids, not most but a lot of kids, would question themselves and he never did."

The Blue Devils (3-1) will face Georgetown, which beat Wisconsin 71-61, in the championship game on Sunday.

"He is a heck of a player," Melvin Johnson, who led the Rams with 20 points, said of Allen. "Once he gets downhill he has a great way of initiating contact. It wasn't necessarily hard, but it was us sticking to the details of the game plan I think we if we stuck to it a little better we could have limited him."

Duke turned up the defense when it needed to in the second half.

From their last lead with 12:03 to play, the Rams (2-1) went 5 of 20 from the field and Duke had a lot to do with that, especially inside where easy baskets in the first half were being challenged and that led to some breakouts for the Blue Devils.

"I thought we played really hard and played well for the most part," first-year VCU coach Will Wade said. "That stretch from the 11 1/2 minute mark to the 7 minute mark it got away from us. ... I was proud of how our guys competed. We couldn't get some shots to fall. Tonight wasn't our night."

VCU finished with a 46-24 advantage in points in the paint, but most of that came in the first half.

Freshman Derryck Thornton, who started in place of Allen, had a career-high 19 points for Duke, and Matt Jones added 10, including two big 3s in the second half. Jones came into the game shooting 56.3 percent (9 of 16) from 3-point range.

"Matt didn't have a good first half but those shots he hit in the second half were huge," Krzyzewski said.


VCU: Mo Alie-Cox had 15 points for VCU. .. The Rams shot 58.1 percent (18 of 31) in the first half and dropped off to 34.4 percent (11 for 32) in the second half. ... VCU was outrebounded 39-32 despite Justin Tillman's game-high eight boards.

Duke: The Blue Devils won the 2008 2K Classic. ... Amile Jefferson had a string of three straight double-doubles stopped. He finished with six points and seven rebounds.

MORE VCU: Instant Analysis: Hoyas win! Hoyas win!

Wilmer Difo homers but Phillies top Nats


Wilmer Difo homers but Phillies top Nats

WASHINGTON -- Rhys Hoskins hit a two-run homer, Vince Velasquez pitched five effective innings and the Philadelphia Phillies snapped Washington's six-game win streak with a 3-1 victory over the Nationals on Saturday.

Velasquez (2-4) allowed one run and one hit in his first win since April 7. He also struck out four, walked four and hit a batter.

Edubray Ramos, Tommy Hunter, Luis Garcia and Hector Neris then combined for four innings of one-hit relief. Neris earned his sixth save.

Trea Turner led off the Washington ninth with a walk and was running when Matt Wieters popped out to short right field. Turner, who slid into second, lost track of the ball and was easily doubled off first.

Wilmer Difo homered for Washington. Third baseman Anthony Rendon went 0 for 2 with two walks after missing 19 games with what the team called a contusion to his toe.

Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark (2-3) tied his season high with nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. He was charged with three runs and six hits.

Andrew Stevenson accounted for Washington's other hit, a one-out single in the sixth. Pedro Severino followed with a walk, but Ramos induced a double-play grounder from Rafael Bautista.

Cesar Hernandez opened the game with a single off Roark and Hoskins homered to center on a 3-2 pitch. It was his fifth of the season.

Maikel Franco provided an insurance run when he followed Carlos Santana's one-out triple with a single in the sixth.


Phillies: RHP Ben Lively (lower back strain) threw 20 pitches in a bullpen session. Lively was placed on the disabled list April 27. ... Manager Gabe Kapler said RHP Pat Neshek (shoulder strain) will throw a bullpen session as the next step in his rehabilitation. Neshek has not appeared in a game this season.

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman was scratched from the lineup due to stiffness in his side, according to manager Dave Martinez. ... RHP Trevor Gott, who sprained an ankle in the sixth inning Friday night, is day to day.


The winners of the last three NL Cy Young Awards square off when Philadelphia's Jake Arrieta (3-1, 3.49 ERA) opposes Max Scherzer (6-1, 1.79 ERA). Arrieta won the award in 2015 with the Cubs and Scherzer, the National League Pitcher of the Month for April, has claimed the honor each of the last two seasons.

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State


Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.


Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.