No. 3 Gonzaga upset no. 1 Duke as Zion Williamson & RJ Barrett poured in a combined 45 points.
Many projected the Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball team to steamroll through the competition on their way to an undefeated record but the no. 3 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs had other things in mind when the two teams met up in the Maui Invitational title game Wednesday night – the score ending 89-97.
Duke may have come up short, but it wasn’t due to a lack of effort, as Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, the team’s two best players, combined for a stellar 45 points, in a fairly even split.
The other team’s star players were just as lethal, especially in the first half of play, where the Bulldogs built themselves an insurmountable lead off the back of Rui Hachimura’s efficient 20-point performance. Gonzaga guard Zach Norvell Jr. who chipped in 18 points himself, summed up his their efforts as a complete team effort.
“Experience plays a big role in this,” said Norvell Jr, “We came down the stretch and got some stops. We knew we were winning it on the defensive end.” Gonzaga’s coach Mark Few was equally enamored with his team’s effort level, expressing himself in so few words after the game: “I thought we played great.”
With the victory, Gonzaga runs its record to 6-0, whereas Duke drops to 5-1 on the season, this early out the gate.