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Michigan coach Tom Itzo̵

7;s first victory at the Duke Cameron Indoor Stadium on December 1, 2020, is the Spartans’ second victory over coach K’s team in 20 months.

Detroit Free Press

Rocket Watts took the lead and scored the most.

But Foster Loyer may have made the most influential plays when Michigan State basketball he needed it the most.

Coach Tom Itzo said he shook the defense point on Tuesday as the 12th-ranked Spartans traveled to No. 8 Duke, inserting athletic and larger watts for Loyer.

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SEAN SHINSOR: MSU simply beat Duke without scratching the surface of his potential

Works on several levels. Watts scored 13 of his top 20 points in the second half as Loyer stepped off the bench early and contributed to several key small plays that were massive in the big picture of the Spartans’ 75-69 victory over Duke in the Champions Classic.

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Michigan-based American basketball player Aaron Henry said he saw the Spartans fight in trouble and grow into a road victory at Duke on Tuesday night.

Detroit Free Press

“Let me tell you something, Foster Loyer acted like a captain and played like a captain,” Itzo said. “He was Rocket’s biggest cheerleader, he was ready to come in when he came in. Some boys could hang their heads and do this and that. … It was something like our peripheral boys, who played really well, made a difference in this game. “

DEEP SEE: MSU gets an elusive victory at Duke, showing they can play with anyone

It was an unstable start for Watts, a sophomore in his first start of the season, and MSU fell behind, 13-3, in the first five minutes. The Detroit-born 6-foot-2 was expected to succeed Cassius Winston, but Loyer started the first two games.

“I mean, it’s a process,” said Watts, who made 7 of 16 strokes and finished with three rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes. “This is my first year playing as a defender on the big stage. I just had to take care of the ball when they pressed me and didn’t get out of control. “

While MSU already had five fouls in less than 3 minutes of action, Loyer replaced Watts and stood on defense with coach Mike Krzyzewski’s main program. The 6-foot teen took charges against Jeremy Roach with 15:01 left and another in Duke’s next possession against DJ Steward. It took a third charge with MSU for up to 10 and 50 seconds to play the game.

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Michigan basketball player Rocket Watts said he got out of control early in Duke. But he calmed down and scored 20 points in a 75-69 victory.

Detroit Free Press

Loyer also grabbed four of his five rivers in his career in the first half and scored his only basket, a 3-point from the left corner, to pull the Spartans back into the 3:14 draw left before halftime. He finished with five points, but without assists for the low for the season 15 minutes.

But Itzo said Loyer’s presence on the bench was just as important as his role on the court.

“Don’t underestimate Foster Loyer’s contribution,” Itzo said. “Not just as a player, not just as a defender, but as a leader. He was phenomenal in these fights. “

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Michigan’s second striker, Julius Marble, made all five shots and scored 12 career points in the Spartans’ victory over Duke.

Detroit Free Press

The marble moment

Julius Marble joined the playing group after not playing much in the first two games.

The 6-8 second-grader from Dallas had a stopping performance outside the bench. Marble hit all five shots he made, including a deep jumper in the first half and a series of two games in the second half with a tip and a dunk to finish with a high 12-point career.

“We’re at Duke’s and I hate Duke,” Marble said of his immersion. “So to do that, I felt really good.”

And he did his damage after spending the previous few days on the MSU scout team, posing as one of Duke’s great men.

“I knew a little more than I would have known if I had been on the first team, because I studied the players, I knew all their trends and things like that. So it helped, ”said Marble, whose previous high was nine points twice last season. “I didn’t go out there trying to get a basket or this and that, I just tried to fulfill my role. It so happened that I managed to score some points and become a spark from the bench. “

Hall Scar

Second-year striker Malik Hall performed well last year against Duke with nine points and eight rebounds in MSU’s 87-75 home loss.

This time he increased it to finish with 10 points and 10 career fights for the best 29 minutes personally. Hall also had a pair of assists.

“This is one of my best friends on the team,” Marble told Hall. “We are also roommates, so it was good to go out there with my roommate. And it’s even better to play well with your roommate and then come out with the victory. “

Odds and ends

MSU is now 4-6 for all time in the Champions Classic. It was their first victory over Duke in four attempts at the event, as well as the Spartans’ first victory in four matches at the indoor Cameron Stadium. The game was moved there after the original game was postponed on November 10 in Chicago. … Izzo is now 3-12 for all time against Krzyzewski, but his Spartans have won two of the last three matches, which are 20 months apart. This includes the victory in Elite Eight for 2019, which sent MSU to Izzo’s eighth final four, which is three more than Duke’s coach has been since 1996, Izzo’s first year.

Contact Chris Solari: csolari@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari. Read more about the Spartans from Michigan and sign up for our Spartan newsletter.

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