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Duke stays poised as they defeat Georgetown in 2K Empire Classic

Duke overcame a slow start to defeat Georgetown in the championship of the 2K Empire Classic at The Garden.

The Duke Blue Devils won the 2K Empire Classic as they defeated Georgetown 81-73 in a fierce battle Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

Georgetown set the tone early, jumping out to a 9-2 lead, shocking a pro-Blue Devil crowd. From that point on, the Blue Devils were able to rally and bring the game to 11-12 at the 13:20 mark.

The Hoyas were able to go into the break tied as sophomore point guard James Akinjo knocked down a jumper to tie the game at 33.

The game changed tides in the second half as the Blue Devils built a 14 point second-half lead. The Blue Devils second-half success had a lot to do with the resurgence of freshman guard Cassius Stanley and forward Wendell Moore. Stanley scored 20 of his 21 in the second half while Moore had 11 of his 17 points on 7 of 10 shooting.

Although the Hoyas would have liked to come out with a win, they were able to come out with lessons that could help them move forward. 

Georgetown now has a win against an AP Top 25 team (Texas). They also stayed competitive in a hostile environment and very officiating calls. Along with their solid play, big man Omer Yurtseven submitted himself as one of the nation’s premier bigs as he finished with 21 points and five rebounds against the nation’s #1 team.

Duke big man Vernon Carey earned the 2K Empire Classic MVP award averaging 25.5 points and 11.5 rebounds.

With Friday night’s win, Mike Krzyzewski passed legendary coach John Wooden by winning his 218th game as the top team in the Associated Press Poll.

Game Notes: 

2K Empire Classic MVP: Vernon Carey

2K Empire Classic All-Tournament team: James Akinjo (Georgetown), Omer Yurtseven,(Georgetown) Wendell Moore (Duke), Cassius Stanley (Duke), Vernon Carey (Duke)

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