Duke Has Lost Its First Game Of The 2018-19 Season

Duke Has Lost Its First Game Of The 2018-19 Season

The Duke Blue Devils couldn't get a basket in the end as the Gonzaga Bulldogs missed four straight free throws to leave the game wide open.

Zach Norvell Jr. scored 18 points for the Zags. Jeremy Pargo scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half for No. 22 Gonzaga.

The No. 1-ranked Duke Blue Devils and No. 3-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs are playing in the Maui Invitational championship game at 5 p.m.

One annihilation after another, the Duke Blue Devils are out of the gates in the 2018-19 college basketball season appearing to be unbeatable.

Here's more on No. 8 Auburn's much-needed boost from the bench and four more takeaways from the Tigers' successful finish to their first trip to the prestigious Maui Invitational. Brandon Clarke, a transfer from San Jose State, endured foul trouble that affected his time on the floor, but 17 points and game-changing defensive plays (six blocks) helped the Bulldogs seal the win and likely propel themselves into the No. 1 spot in the major polls next week. Running the offense primarily through R.J. Barrett-who added 11 points-and Williamson, Duke converted on 44.1 percent of its attempts in the opening 20 minutes, and took just seven 3-point shots, though it made two in the last minute, including a long banked buzzer-beater by Tre Jones.

Gonzaga then committed a shot-clock violation on the other end, giving the ball back to the Illini with 30.5 seconds remaining.

The moment Duke was supposed to take over in the early stages of this heavyweight clash came and went with a clang. But Jones's dunk caught back iron-hard-and caromed all the way to midcourt, where Perkins collected it and fed Clarke for a layup.

Duke has undeniable offensive talent. They have too much experience to get rattled, even against college basketball's most talked-about team.

Top-ranked Duke vies for its record sixth Maui title against No. 3 Gonzaga at the Lahaina Civic Center on Wednesday night. Barrett finished with a game-high 23 points but needed a whopping 25 shots to get there, and his heroball in the final minute can't possibly be the only option on a team with so many weapons.

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