NEW YORK -- In a matchup of fabulous freshmen, Duke's Jabari Parker may have won the points battle, but Aaron Gordon and Arizona won the war.
After a slow start, Gordon came alive in the second half to lead No. 4 Arizona to a 72-66 win over No. 6 Duke in the NIT Season Tip-Off final on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
Gordon scored eight of his 10 points in the second half when the Wildcats (7-0) stormed back from trailing by three at the half.
Parker scored 19 points and blocked two shots for Duke (6-2). Rodney Hood led the Blue Devils with 21 points.
Nick Johnson led a balanced scoring attack for Arizona with 15 points.
The Wildcats are 22-2 in this tournament.
Parker got the best of his fellow frosh on the offensive end. Gordon guarded Parker most of the night but wasn't able to keep him away from the rim.
Gordon's third foul with 11:42 to play enabled Parker to sink two free throws and give Duke a 45-42 lead. However, Gordon came alive after that.
Arizona charged back with a 19-3 spurt to move ahead 61-48 with 3:06 to go. Gordon contributed five of his eight second-half points in the burst.
Quinn Cook's 3-pointer gave Duke its largest lead of the night at 43-37 with 13:47 remaining.
Neither team maintained more than a five-point lead in the first half, as the score was tied 11 times.
A Parker two-handed dunk and a runner from Tyler Thornton gave Duke a 36-33 edge at the half after Brandon Ashley's layup for the Wildcats tied it 32-32 with 1:11 left.
Parker, Cook and Hood combined for 28 of Duke's 36 first-half points. Gordon was limited to two points and took only two shots from the floor in seven minutes.
NOTES: Duke defeated Arizona 82-72 in the 2001 national championship game. In the next and most recent meeting, the Wildcats won 93-77 in the regional semifinals of the 2011 NCAA tournament. ... The Blue Devils played in their 220th straight game as a top-10 team in the AP poll. Duke is 182-37 (.831) during that span. ... Arizona PG J.T. McConnell owns a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. ... Arizona sophomore C Kaleb Tarczewski posted his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the semifinal win over Drexel. ... Duke PG Quinn Cook leads the ACC in assists (7.2) and assist-to-turnover ratio (5.4 to 1).