Five observations from Duke men's basketball's first half against Gonzaga

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LAHAINA, Hawaii - In the final seconds of Gonzaga's win over No. 1 Duke in the Maui Invitational championship, Blue Devils freshman R.J. Barrett made a decision to put the game in his hands.

R.J. Barrett led all scorers with 23 points, but his Duke Blue Devils lost 89-87 to Gonzaga at the Maui Invitational.

Hachimura was named tournament MVP after leading the Zags with 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots. "I didn't know we had MVP and stuff so I didn't know and my teammates just started (celebrating)", said Hachimura.


Five-time Maui champion Duke (5-1) made it look easy the season's first five games, its fantastic freshmen soaring through the spotlight, not cowering away from it while looking all but unbeatable.

Then throughout the final minutes of the game, Williamson was sending shots back at the rim over and over again. Williamson enters the locker room with 10 points and five rebounds.

Duke may not lose again, or it may not lose until April in Minneapolis when it meets Gonzaga again or another inner-circle national title contender in the Final Four, or it may lose to in and dynamic freshman Romeo Langford on Tuesday night. With this being the second night of a back-to-back for the Blue Devils and with the experience of this Tigers roster, this one could be a much tighter affair. Clarke clanked two with 30 seconds left and Hachimura came up empty on two more with 10 seconds left.


Gonzaga's final stop to win the game!

After a pair of silent first halves against Auburn and San Diego State, Williamson was the focal point of Duke's offense from the onset.

His nine first-half points helped the Blue Devils to amass a whopping 17-point lead early in the contest, but Auburn ultimately cut the deficit down to eight heading into the locker room. 2 Kentucky look like a JV team. The Blue Devils came into the game at 17-0 all-time. You need a point guard who not only is capable of making passes with a high degree of difficulty but also seeks those passes out, as Gonzaga's Josh Perkins does even against opponents with less daunting defenses. "I mean we were not playing good defence, but they were playing great offence".


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