HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Down goes Duke, and down goes the dream of a perfect season for the Blue Devils after losing to No. 3 Gonzaga, 89-87 in a thrilling championship game at the 2018 Maui Invitational.
While No. 1 Duke did erase a 16-point deficit latte in the second half, tying the score at 87 apiece, Gonzaga star Rui Hachimura converted a go-ahead layup with less than two minutes remaining to seal the win.
Great game. I thought both teams played their hearts out. Kind of two different halves,” said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski after the game. “I thought they dictated the flow, the pace, they were very much in control the whole first half. I think their experience, I mean they're really good, obviously Mark (Few’s) teams are well coached, but they're experienced good, they can beat anybody.”
Hachimura tallied 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three blocks; his third straight game scoring at least 20 points.
Duke’s Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett combined to score 45 points in the loss.
“It was just a fantastic game and you just, you just got to love this tournament. I love this place, I love Maui, and it’s just been an awesome, awesome experience for our team and our fans and everybody involved with our program," said Gonzaga head coach Mark Few after the win. “But what a basketball game. Duke is everything that we thought they were and probably even a little bit more. They got no quit in them. Those are really, really talented, high character, tough dudes to stop and they made a heck of a run. But what I was most proud of is we ended up winning this game on the defensive end those last two stops. So obviously we can really build on that.”
With the win, it’s likely that the Bulldogs will take over at No. 1 in the country while Duke will fall -- but not too much -- in next week’s Top 25.
Here’s q quick look at the other results from Day 3 of the 2018 Maui Invitational:
- Auburn 73-57 Arizona
- Iowa State 87-57 San Diego State
- Xavier 83-74 Illinois