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Jones leads Duke past Kansas, 68-66, in season opener

College basketball roundup

AP Photo/Adam Hunger … Duke forward Wendell Moore Jr. (0), who played at Cox Mill High School in Concord, drives to the basket past Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji during the second half of a college basketball game Tuesday, in New York. Duke won, 68-66.

By Doug Feinberg

AP Basketball Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Tre Jones scored 15 points and Cassius Stanley added 11 of his 13 points in the second half to help No. 4 Duke beat third-ranked Kansas 68-66 in the opener of the Champions Classic on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

While Duke doesn’t have the star-studded freshmen class of last season of Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish and RJ Barrett, coach Mike Krzyzewski may have a more balanced team, capable of making plays down the stretch when needed.

Trailing 61-60 with 2:29 left, Stanley drove to the basket and made the layup and was fouled. The freshman guard converted the free throw to give the Blue Devils a one-point lead.

Devon Dotson missed a layup on the other end and Jones then hit a jumper that bounced off the rim twice before dropping in with 1:33 left.

Marcus Garrett got the Jayhawks back within one. After a miss by the Blue Devils, Kansas turned the ball over with 37 seconds left. It was the Jayhawks 28th turnover of the game. Jones then converted two free throws with 26.2 seconds left.

Kansas had chances, but couldn’t convert until Dotson banked in a meaningless 3-pointer at the buzzer. He finished with 17 points.

This is just the third time in school history that Duke has opened up its season with a top-five matchup. The Blue Devils beat No. 2 Kentucky in this event last year in Indianapolis.

Tuesday’s game marked the return of Kansas senior Udoka Azubuike, who played only nine games last year after tearing ligaments in his right hand. He had eight points. It also was the first game for Silvio De Sousa since the 2017-18 season. He was suspended for two seasons because of NCAA violations and sat out last year as Kansas was implicated in the FBI probe of college basketball. Kansas won an appeal that allowed De Sousa to play this year. He got a nice ovation from the fans when he checked in nearly 3:30 into the game. He finished with three points.

Duke led 33-30 at the half as neither team really got into much of an offensive rhythm in the opening 20 minutes. There was a lot of sloppy play with Kansas committing 18 turnovers in the first half. Despite all the miscues, the Jayhawks were able to stay in the game by hitting 10 of their 19 shots.

No. 1 Michigan State plays second-ranked Kentucky in the second game of the doubleheader. This is the first time in the nine-year history of the event that the four teams occupy the top four spots in the poll.

GOING STREAKING: Kansas has been ranked in the poll for 201 consecutive weeks and that’s the longest active streak in the nation.

NIFTY PLAY: Freshman Cassius Stanley had back-to-back dunks on the break, both coming on assists from Tre Jones. The second one came when Jones threw a 45-foot bounce pass to a streaking Spencer who finished the play with a one-handed jam.

NOT SO FREE THROWS: Both teams struggled from the foul line with Kansas going 16 for 26 and Duke 14 for 23.

MSG MILESTONES: Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has had many memorable moments at Madison Square Garden, including passing Bobby Knight with his 903rd career win in 2011 to become No. 1 on the all-time men’s victory list. He also had his 1,000th career win at MSG in 2015.

UP NEXT:

Duke: Hosts Colorado State on Friday.

Kansas: Hosts UNC Greensboro on Friday.

•••

NO. 5 LOUISVILLE 87, MIAMI 74

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Jordan Nwora’s 23-point performance included four 3-pointers and a throwdown dunk in Louisville’s season-opening win.

The Cardinals are touted as a potential Final Four team, and they lived up to the hype with a rout on the road against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent.

Nwora, the preseason ACC player of the year, shot 8 for 16 and had 12 rebounds in 31 minutes.

McMahon and Dwayne Sutton had 16 points apiece for the Cardinals, who shot 54%.

Chris Lykes had 18 points and DJ Vasiljevic scored 16 for the Hurricanes.

NO. 6 FLORIDA 74, NORTH FLORIDA 59

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Kerry Blackshear Jr. had 20 points and 10 rebounds in his Florida debut, and the Gators beat North Florida.

Blackshear, who came to Gainesville after four years at Virginia Tech, added three assists and two steals.

Scottie Lewis finished with nine points, five rebounds and two assists in his college debut. Tre Mann had 11 points and four boards.

Noah Locke chipped in 14 points for the Gators.

JT Escobar led North Florida with 15 points. Garrett Sams added 14.

NO. 7 MARYLAND 95, HOLY CROSS 71

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Jalen Smith had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Darryl Morsell scored 15 and Maryland launched a season of high hopes by defeating Holy Cross.

Taking full advantage of their height and depth, the Terrapins placed four players in double figures, finished with a 47-33 rebounding advantage and scored 64 points in the paint.

Freshman guard Drew Lowder scored 24 for Holy Cross, playing its first game under coach Brett Nelson.

NO. 8 GONZAGA 95, ALABAMA STATE 64

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Corey Kispert scored a career-high 28 points as Gonzaga used a second-half surge to beat Alabama State.

Filip Petrusev added 15, Admon Gilder scored 12 and Ryan Woolridge had 11 for depleted Gonzaga, which is down to nine scholarship players. The Bulldogs have won 16 consecutive season openers dating to 2003.

Jacoby Ross scored 16 points and Brandon Battle had 10 for Alabama State in the first meeting between the teams.

NO. 12 SETON HALL 105, WAGNER 71

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (AP) — Myles Powell scored 27 points to lead Seton Hall to the win without coach Kevin Willard.

Seton Hall announced a week ago that the NCAA is investigating the program and Willard would be sitting out two games.

Quincy McKnight added 10 points and seven assists for Seton Hall.

Patrick Szpir led Wagner with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Alex Morales finished with 13 points.

NO. 13 TEXAS TECH 85, EASTERN ILLINOIS 60

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Newcomer Jahmi’us Ramsey led Texas Tech with 19 points as the much-changed Red Raiders opened the season by beating Eastern Illinois, seven months after playing in the national championship game.

Davide Moretti, the only returning starter from last season’s team that lost in overtime to Virginia in the title game, had 11 points.

TJ Holyfield scored 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting for Tech.

, and fellow newcomer Terrance Shannon Jr. scored 11 points.

George Dixon had 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead Eastern Illinois.

NO. 14 MEMPHIS 97, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE 64

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — James Wiseman, the nation’s top-rated recruit, had 28 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis.

Fellow freshman Precious Achiuwa added 14 points and eight rebounds.

Ian Kinard led South Carolina State with 13 points, and Jahmari Etienne scored 11.

NO. 16 BAYLOR 105, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 61

WACO, Texas (AP) — Jared Butler scored 30 points with a career-high eight 3-pointers to lead four Baylor players in double figures, and the Bears opened coach Scott Drew’s 17th season with a win.

The hometown Bears scored the first 19 points in the game that began at 11 a.m. and was played before a crowd filled mostly with elementary school students.

Transfer guard MaCio Teague had 18 points and 10 rebounds in his Baylor debut. Devonte Bandoo scored 15 points and Freddie Gillespie had 14.

Rylan Bergersen, a transfer from BYU, had 17 points in his Central Arkansas debut.

NO. 19 XAVIER 76, JACKSONVILLE 57

CINCINNATI (AP) — Tyrique Jones had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Naji Marshall also scored 17 and Xavier beat Jacksonville.

Paul Scruggs scored all 12 of his points in the first half, including a pair of 3-pointers, to help the Musketeers build a 21-point lead at the break. Bryce Moore’s 3 off an assist from Scruggs put Xavier ahead 41-22 late in the half.

Xavier freshman Zach Freemantle scored 11 points in his debut, including a two-handed dunk for his first points.

Aamahne Santos and Bryce Workman each had 15 points for Jacksonville.

NO. 25 VCU 72, ST. FRANCIS 58

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Marcus Santos-Silva had 21 points and 18 rebounds and No. 25 VCU used a big early run to take command against St. Francis.

De’Riante Jenkins added 16 points and Marcus Evans scored 12 for the Rams.

Isaiah Blackmon scored 15 and Keith Braxton had 11 for the Red Flash.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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