KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Purdue's Glenn Robinson may be the Southeast Regional's main attraction, but Duke's Grant Hill doesn't play second fiddle to too many opponents. Just ask the Marquette Warriors.
Hill, the Blue Devils' All-American senior swingman, put yet another stamp on a splendid college career last night. He revived a sluggish Duke team by scoring 16 of his game-high 22 points in the second half to lead the second-seeded Blue Devils to a 59-49 victory over sixth-seeded Marquette at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Blue Devils (26-5) ended an unlikely run by Marquette (24-9). The Warriors, playing in their first Sweet 16 since 1979, had set their sights on their first national championship since 1977.
But the Blue Devils showed why they have basically lived in the Final Four since the mid-1980s. Duke advanced to tomorrow's regional final against Purdue. The Blue Devils are one victory away from their seventh Final Four berth in nine seasons.
Hill was the main link in a Duke effort that doomed the Warriors from many angles. He added nine rebounds and six assists, and he scored nine of Duke's first 13 points in the second half, as the Blue Devils took a 40-34 lead they never would relinquish.
Duke beat the defensive-minded Warriors at their own game. The Blue Devils allowed Marquette only 17 field goals in 54 attempts (31.5 percent) and blocked eight shots, including five by center Cherokee Parks.
Parks (12 points, eight rebounds) saved his best defensive work for crunch time. Four times in the final five minutes, he blocked shots by Marquette's leading scorer, Damon Key (eight points, 3-for-12 shooting).
"Grant Hill obviously made some very big basketball plays tonight," Marquette coach Kevin O'Neill said. "He kind of dominated the second half. He beat us off the dribble, he beat us on the lob, he beat us in the post. We didn't shoot well, but there's a reason we didn't shoot well. Duke really got into us."
The Blue Devils also shook off a bad start -- they missed eight of their first nine shots -- and went on to play a fundamentally crisp game. They made 23 of their last 43 shots and committed only six turnovers.
"You have to be extremely proud of our guys. They just hung in there and did what it took," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "They don't always get the credit they deserve [on defense]. But this is one of the best defensive teams in my 14 years."
Marquette did well just to take a 26-25 halftime lead. The %J Warriors shot only 30.8 percent in the first half, with center Jim McIlvaine and Key, their leading scorers, getting off to terrible starts.
Key picked up three fouls in the first half, and spent more than 13 minutes on the bench, while McIlvaine (11 points) made only one of eight shots, missing several layups in the process.
Still, Marquette sent the Blue Devils an early message by hitting three three-point shots -- by Tony Miller, Key and Robb Logterman -- to take a 9-0 lead three minutes into the contest.
Duke rallied to trail by a point at the break, and Hill immediately got the Blue Devils rolling.
He hit a three-pointer to start the second half. Then, after layups by Jeff Capel and Parks gave Duke a 32-28 advantage, Hill made a layup, tipped in a missed shot, and drove the lane to dunk over several defenders to give Duke a 38-34 lead four minutes into the half.