Cuonzo Martin after UT's loss to Duke
LAHAINA, Hawaii — Tennessee couldn't find a spell to vanquish Duke's Maui magic on Monday afternoon.
As it turned out, it might have only required a few more easy makes for the Vols near the basket.
Instead, the Blue Devils' size and talent prevailed down the stretch, and Duke remained perfect in the EA Sports Maui Invitational with a 77-67 win before a sea of blue-clad fans in the 2,800-seat Lahaina Civic Center.
The No. 6 Blue Devils (5-0) shot 48.1 percent from the floor to improve to 13-0 all-time in the tournament and advance to play No. 15 Michigan (4-0) at 7 tonight (ESPN).
The Vols (2-1) play rival Memphis (1-1) at 2 p.m. Tuesday (TV: ESPN2). The Tigers, ranked No. 8, fell to the Wolverines 73-61 earlier Monday.
"It's going to be a tough and physical game against them,'' said UT power forward Jeronne Maymon, who recorded a double-double in the loss to Duke with 14 points and 12 rebounds. "The best team will win.''
Maymon received one of the best compliments a player can get, as Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski stopped him in the hallway to shake his hand.
"You played a helluva game, son,'' said Krzyzewski, the winningest coach in Division I men's basketball history with 905 victories.
Tennessee guard Trae Golden had 13 points, but it wasn't an outing he'll want to remember. Golden was limited to 20 minutes, battling foul trouble en route to two assists and three turnovers.
Jordan McRae (11 points) and Cameron Tatum (10 points, four assists) scored in double figures for the Vols, who shot 41.4 percent from the floor and were 0-for-8 shooting beyond the 3-point arc.
"A big key to the game, one of our main things, was to limit their threes, they've been shooting a lot of 3-point shots,'' said Krzyzewski, who obviously noted UT had shot a scorching 49.1 percent (26 of 53) beyond the 3-point arc in its first two games.
"We beat really a good team today,'' Krzyzewski said. "They played really hard, together, that's a heckuva win for our team.''
Freshman Austin Rivers led Duke with 18 points, while Ryan Kelly and Seth Curry added 17 apiece.
The Vols were effective from the free-throw line, hitting 19 of 24, but there were too many missed opportunities for UT to pull off the upset in its first meeting with Duke in 31 years.
"When you miss easy baskets, it takes the air out of your sails,'' UT coach Cuonzo Martin said. "But the guys did a great job competing. I was proud of the effort. The next step is doing the little things consistently to win those type of games.
"This is a great lesson for our guys against a great program.''
UT came out the aggressor, and led by as many as five points in the first half when McRae sliced to the basket to make it 21-16 at the 11:31 mark.
Duke stayed poised, answering with an 8-0 run to go up 24-21 on a pair of Kelly free throws.
The teams traded the lead six times more before Duke closed the half on another 8-0 run sparked by a pair of Rivers' 3-pointers and capped by Curry's drive to the basket that made it 39-33.
"They did a good job attacking off the bounce,'' Martin said. "I don't think it was a case of us being intimidated. It was a matter of carrying out assignments.''
UT made its final rally, a 6-0 burst, to pull within 55-53 with 9:28 left in the game on a pair of Golden free throws.
Duke answered with a 10-2 spurt to go up 65-55 for its first double-digit lead of the game with 6:41 left.
The Vols didn't get closer than eight the remainder of the game.
Tennessee, despite its missed opportunities near the basket, outscored the Blue Devils in the paint, 40-32.
"We missed a lot of open bunnies right around the rim,'' said Maymon, who was 5-of-14 shooting. "I don't know if we were putting it too hard off the glass or too soft up there, but we missed a lot of them.''
The Vols finish the tournament on Wednesday against a yet-to-be-determined opponent at 5 p.m. (TV: ESPN2) with a win Tuesday or at 2:30 p.m. (TV: ESPNU) with a loss.