for this game

Irving's big night lifts Duke over Michigan State

Dec 2, 2010 - 6:58 AM Durham, NC (Sports Network) - Freshman sensation Kyrie Irving shined on the big stage with a 31-point effort, leading top-ranked Duke to an 84-79 victory over sixth-ranked Michigan State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Irving eclipsed 20 points for the first time in his collegiate career to lead Duke (7-0) to its 81st consecutive home win in non-conference action. He went 8-of-12 from the field and 13-of-16 from the free throw line.

"My shots were falling early, and I was in rhythm every time I shot the ball," Irving said. "I feel as though I got a lot of good looks."

Nolan Smith added 17 points, Kyle Singler had 15, and Mason Plumlee contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils, who improved to 11-1 in this yearly event.

Korie Lucious registered 20 points off the bench for the Spartans (5-2), who had won the last meeting between these storied programs in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Draymond Green and Kalin Lucas provided 16 and 14 points, respectively, in defeat.

"We just might be a team to be reckoned with down the road," said Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo. "But it's still going to be a little ways down the road which I thought, and hopefully we build off this game."

Neither team led by more than six in a tight first half. Duke threatened to pull away several times in the second half, but Michigan State kept hanging around.

A 7-0 burst early in the second half had the Blue Devils ahead, 48-38, following a Smith three-pointer and jumper. The Spartans, though, responded with the next six points to trim their deficit to four on a pair of Lucious free throws.

Durrell Summers' three a short time later pulled MSU to within two, though Duke followed with the next nine points over a five-minute span. Andre Dawkins and Singler both hit from long range on the spurt, which increased the margin to 58-47 with 9:48 to play.

The Spartans never got closer than five the rest of the way, as the Duke defense never allowed Michigan State to score more than five consecutive points in the final 10 minutes.

Game Notes

Duke leads the all-time series, 6-2...This was Michigan State's first true road game...The Blue Devils shot six free throws in the first half and 32 in the second half. They made 27-of-38 overall...The Spartans shot only 15 free throws in the game and made eight.