NEW YORK (AP) – Mike Krzyzewski set the record for wins coaching a No. 1 team as top-ranked Duke got 20 points and 10 rebounds from Vernon Carey Jr. to beat Georgetown 81-73 on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Blue Devils (6-0) beat Cal and the Hoyas on consecutive nights to win the 2K Empire Classic and give Krzyzewski another slice of history. Krzyzewski is 218-34 when the Blue Devils hold the top spot, a mark they hit this week in The Associated Press poll. Hall of Famer John Wooden went 217-11 while UCLA was No. 1 during his run there.
The Hoyas (4-2) made the Blue Devils work for the win in front of a hot crowd at the Garden.
Carey, a five-star recruit who inherited Zion Williamson’s No. 1 jersey, has become the focal point of Duke’s offense, and he had a breakthrough two games in New York. Carey dunked, screamed, chest-bumped and controlled the game for the Blue Devils to help keep them undefeated.
Cassius Stanley, who led the Blue Devils with 21 points, made a pair of 3s to stretch the game open and shake off Georgetown, which was looking to knock off two straight Top 25 teams. The Hoyas, picked to finish sixth in the Big East preseason poll, knocked off No. 22 Texas a night earlier and went basket-for-basket with Duke in the first half.
Omer Yurtseven led the Hoyas with 21 points.
The Hoyas got within four with 42 seconds left, but Duke sealed the win from the free-throw line.
It was a mixed homecoming for Knicks great and Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing.
Ewing yanked off his tie in frustration with the Hoyas trailing by eight midway through the second half and both teams getting chippy. Duke’s Wendall Moore flew at Mac McClung and rejected a jumper into the stands that sparked trash talk between the teams.
Ewing lost his cool moments later, stomping his feet and getting hit with a technical for an outburst over a perceived missed call. Georgetown assistant Louis Orr, another former Knick, restrained Ewing from going on the court and possibly getting tossed. Ewing barked at Orr to get out of his way as the Garden crowd howled in protest.
Ewing was hot, and he threw up his hands a few plays later when Georgetown was whistled for traveling. After a review, the violation was overturned and Carey instead picked up a foul. Yurtseven scored to slice the deficit back under double digits.
The game matched “Dream Team” assistant coach Krzyzewski against 1992 Olympian Ewing for the first time in college.
“I love him,” Krzyzewski said. “I think he’s done a great job. We have two storied programs, really, and schools, playing for a championship. That’s a really cool thing.”
The Garden belonged to Ewing, the crowd going wild from the moment he walked out for warmups to his introduction during starting lineups. Perhaps motivated by nostalgia or Big East boosterism, the Hoyas had the fans on their side and the game in control. Mac McClung, James Akinjo and Galen Alexander hit early 3s to push the Hoyas to an 11-point lead. This was no staid Princeton offense the Hoyas were running to stymie Duke. They pushed, they scored in transition, they outrebounded the top team in the nation and an upset appeared quite possible.
The Blue Devils hung tight, and Joe Baker hit a 3 that pulled them within three. Carey pulled them even with a thunderous two-handed jam and gave them a lead on a tip-in. Carey threw his head back and screamed, the Hoyas went 6 minutes without a field goal and they went to halftime tied 33-all.
Georgetown: The Hoyas put college hoops on notice that they will not be an easy out this season, and perhaps their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2015 is within reach. Ewing certainly opened some eyes in his return to the Garden.
“A lot of pro guys, great players, it’s tough for them to become a coach,” Krzyzewski said. “I think he’s a really good coach.”
Duke: The Blue Devils will retain their No. 1 spot in the AP Top 25 poll.
Georgetown: The Hoyas have a short break and play UNC Greensboro on Nov. 30 at Capital One Arena.
Duke: The Blue Devils return home Tuesday to play Stephen F. Austin.
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