Cavaliers Fall Short Against No. 1 Duke
By AARON BEARD
Associated Press Writer
DURHAM, N.C. – J.J. Redick is putting his name in the Duke record bookswhile quickly earning a place among the top players in the Atlantic CoastConference.
The freshman guard scored a career-high 34 points and Dahntay Jones had 23as No. 1 Duke beat Virginia 104-93 Wednesday night to remain the nation’s onlyunbeaten team and extend its home winning streak to 21 games.
The 34 points set the record for a Duke freshman, bettering the mark of 31set by current assistant coach Johnny Dawkins exactly 20 years ago. It wasRedick’s sixth 20-point game, one behind the school record for freshman set byCarlos Boozer in 1999-2000.
“He’s got his feet under him, he understands the game,” Duke coach MikeKrzyzewski said. “He’s not just a good freshman. He’s one of the outstandingplayers in the conference.”
Freshman Shavlik Randolph added 17 points for Duke, which is 12-0 for thesecond time in as many years and sixth time in 23 seasons under Krzyzewski. TheBlue Devils (3-0 ACC) improved to 42-8 against the Cavaliers at Cameron IndoorStadium and have won 65 of their last 67 games against unranked leagueopponents.
The Cavaliers (10-4, 1-2) had won two of the last three games in the series,taking the last two meetings at home. They had not won here in eight years, butfought the Blue Devils throughout on Wednesday.
“We gave it our best shot,” Virginia coach Pete Gillen said. “When yougive it your best and it’s not good enough, you walk with your head up. That’sall you can do.”
In a back-and-forth game that saw both teams shoot 50 percent or better,Duke took control by hitting 37 of 40 free throws. That included a 29-for-32performance in the second half of a game that had 59 total fouls.
Virginia hit 27 of 38 free throws, but missed some key attempts down thestretch.
“This was a wacky, weird game,” said Duke junior Chris Duhon, who had sixpoints and nine assists. “We couldn’t stop them, they couldn’t stop us. Itcame down to who made the most plays. I think we were able to do that. They keywas going 37-for-40 from the free throw line.”
Redick finished 9-for-13 from the field, including 5-for-6 from 3-pointrange, and 11-for-11 from the free throw line. Redick, a Roanoke, Va., native,did all that despite admitting he was nervous because he was playing againstfriends and a school that had recruited him.
Redick played on the same AAU team as Brown and Jason Clark of theCavaliers.
“All day today I was visualizing myself doing great things on thebasketball court,” Redick said. “When I saw Jason and Elton before the game,we joked around a bit. The fact that they talked to me probably eased mytension.”
Redick missed his first two shots, but hit his last six before halftime,scoring 18 points and helping Duke to a 50-45 lead.
He opened the second half with a 3-pointer from the left wing, giving Dukeits largest lead at 53-45. Virginia responded with nine straight points, endingwhen Billet hit two free throws after a technical foul on Krzyzewski for a54-53 lead with 17:50 left.
With the score tied at 59, however, Watson picked up his fourth foul tryingto draw a charge on Nick Horvath underneath the basket. That opened things upfor the Blue Devils inside.
Duke pushed ahead when Randolph scored seven straight points. He hit astraightaway 3, a driving layup on the right baseline and a stickback of a missby Daniel Ewing for a 70-65 lead with 13:15 left.
The Cavaliers repeatedly pulled within three or four points, but Dukeresponded each time.
“We just never could really stop them down low,” Randolph said. “Theykept on scoring. We needed to score then get stops. It was definitely importantthat we kept on fighting them back.”
Redick finally gave Duke some breathing room, hitting a jumper and drawing afoul on Jermaine Harper with 4:32 to play. He completed the three-point playand added two more free throws on the next Duke possession for a 95-87 leadwith 3:59 left.
Virginia didn’t get closer than six points the rest of the way. It was thefirst game all season in which Duke didn’t hold at least a 15-point lead in thesecond half.
“I thought offensively we did a good job,” Gillen said. “Just defensivelywe couldn’t stop them.”