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Frosh Irving lifts Duke past Michigan St.

| December 2, 2010 8:00 PM

Freshman Kyrie Irving scored a season-high 31 points and No. 1 Duke beat No. 6 Michigan State 84-79 on Wednesday night in the marquee matchup of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Durham, N.C.

Nolan Smith added 17 points and Kyle Singler scored 15 for the Blue Devils (7-0). They shot 47 percent, turned 20 Michigan State turnovers into 28 points, used a 12-2 spurt midway through the second half to take a double-figure lead and held off the Spartans down the stretch by hitting 9 of 12 free throws in the final 1:15.

Korie Lucious scored 20 points and Draymond Green added 10 of his 16 in the final minute for Michigan State (5-2). The Spartans shot 49 percent, were held to one field goal during a critical 7-minute stretch that coincided with Duke's run but otherwise hung tight with the reigning national champions.

The Spartans put a few of the Blue Devils' impressive winning streaks to the test. But ultimately, Duke found a way to win its 17th straight game dating to last season's national title run, claim its 23rd straight victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium and run its NCAA-best streak of nonconference wins at home to 81.

Mike Krzyzewski claimed the 875th victory of his Hall of Fame career to move one win behind Adolph Rupp, who's in third place on the all-time list.

But for much of the way, little came easy for Duke. Michigan State closed to 69-64 on Durrell Summers' dunk with 3? minutes left before Singler stuck back Irving's miss. Mason Plumlee hit two free throws to push it to 73-64 with 2:22 left.

Plumlee finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for Duke, which won the first meeting between the teams since the 2005 regional semifinals and hasn't lost in the regular season to the Spartans since 1958.

Kalin Lucas added 14 points and Summers finished with 11 for Michigan State, which always seems to draw a tough assignment in this made-for-TV event.

This was the second straight year they had to face the reigning national champion on its home court. North Carolina claimed an 89-82 victory last year against the Spartans, who trailed by 19. And a year earlier, Michigan State suffered a 35-point loss to the Tar Heels at Ford Field.

No. 3 Pittsburgh 80, Duquesne 66: At Pittsburgh, Pa., Ashton Gibbs scored 22 points to lead Pittsburgh (8-0) past Duquesne (3-2) in the first game in the Consol Energy Center.

No. 14 Memphis 78, Arkansas State 71: At Memphis, Tenn., Will Barton scored 20 points as Memphis (6-0) survived a scare by Arkansas State (1-6) in overtime.

No. 17 San Diego St. 69, Saint Mary's 55: At San Diego, Chase Tapley scored 14 points and keyed a 12-3 run late in the first half that helped carry undefeated and 17th-ranked San Diego State to a win over Saint Mary's.

Malcolm Thomas had 12 points and six of SDSU's 10 blocked shots. The Aztecs scored 14 of the game's first 16 points and looked sharp five days after a somewhat lethargic effort in an 88-69 home-opening win against San Diego Christian College of the NAIA.

Rob Jones, a transfer from the University of San Diego, made five 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 17 points for Saint Mary's. Matthew Dellavedova scored 15.

SDSU is 7-0 for the first time since 2006-07, when it won its first eight games. Saint Mary's (6-2) has lost two straight. The Gaels were coming off a 74-73 loss to No. 21 BYU, a Mountain West Conference rival of SDSU.

Central Florida 57, No. 18 Florida 54: At Orlando, Marcus Jordan scored 18 points to lead the Knights (6-0) past the Gators (5-2) for the first time in 10 meetings.

No. 19 Texas 76, Lamar 55: At Austin, Texas, Cory Joseph had 16 points and nine rebounds as the Longhorns (6-1) ran past Cardinals (4-3) for coach Rick Barnes' 300th win at the school.

No. 21 Brigham Young 77, Creighton 65: At Omaha, Neb., Brandon Davis scored a career-high 24 points to lead the Cougars (7-0) past the Bluejays (4-3).

No. 22 Purdue 58, Virginia Tech 55 OT: At Blacksburg, Va., JuJuan Johnson scored 29 points, including a go-ahead 15-footer with 1:27 left in overtime as the Boilermakers (6-1) defeated the Hokies (4-3) in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

No. 24 UNLV 82, Illinois State 51: At Normal, Ill., Anthony Marshall scored 16 points to lead the Runnin' Rebels (7-0) past the Redbirds (5-2) in the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Conference Challenge.

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