NEW YORK, NY (WWBT) - - Grayson Allen bounced back from an off game against Kentucky by scoring a career-high 30 points, and No. 5 Duke beat VCU 79-71 in the opening round of the 2K Classic on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Rams went toe-to-toe with the Blue Devils for most of the night, leading by as many as seven points in the second half, but a 17-3 Duke run late in the game turned a 54-53 VCU lead into a 70-58 Duke advantage, ending the Rams' hopes of an upset. Melvin Johnson scored 20 points in the loss for VCU.
VCU led 39-38 at the half, with Johnson scoring a dozen of his 20 points in the first frame. Mo Alie-Cox added 15 points on the night for the Rams, while Hamdy Mohamed finished with ten points. Jordan Burgess had eight points and seven rebounds, while JeQuan Lewis dished out a team high six assists.
VCU will look to bounce back on Sunday, when the Rams face another tough test in Wisconsin. The Badgers were last year's national runners-up. Tip-off is set for 3:30pm.