No. 1 Duke throttles N.C. State in tuneup

With Maryland next, Devils cruise, 108-71

February 15, 2002|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN STAFF

DURHAM, N.C. - When North Carolina State jumped out to an early seven-point lead on top-ranked Duke last night, a nervous ripple ran around Cameron Indoor Stadium like a human wave. Unfortunately for the No. 24 Wolfpack, those nerves never reached the Blue Devils.

By halftime, Duke had carved itself a 10-point lead. It was barely a sign of things to come, as the Blue Devils seized command after halftime, building their lead to as many as 39 in a 108-71 victory. It was the most points scored this season by Duke, which shot 68 percent from the field in the second half.

Not a bad way to tune up for Sunday's showdown with No. 3 Maryland in College Park.

"We played with a lot of energy tonight," said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, whose defending national champions have started 23-1 for the second time in school history. "In the second half, just the way we were swarming our defense, it was beautiful to watch. We had some spectacular fast breaks. Our two guards made so many beautiful passes."

Asked about his team's matchup with the Terrapins, Kryzewski said: "I think Maryland is one of the top two or three teams in the country. It's going to be a heck of a game. It's going to be a heck of a experience for both of us getting ready for March. ... It'll be a great day for the [Atlantic Coast Conference]."

Unlike Maryland, which seemed to talk more about the Blue Devils (11-1 in the ACC) than it did about Georgia Tech after winning by 20 points Wednesday night at Cole Field House, the Duke players mostly looked back at last night's rout against a team that leads the ACC in fewest points allowed.

"It's going to be a war," said Jason Williams, who scored 20 points last night. "Both teams are great teams, and we look forward to going up there and it's going to be a hard fight. I think a lot of teams are hungry for us, but we're hungry to play also. We have a really big driving force, too. They beat us last year here, and we still take things like that into account."

Junior center Carlos Boozer, who scored a career-high 32 points against the Wolfpack (18-7, 7-5) while hitting 13 of 14 shots from the field, said that last year's incident in Maryland in which his mother suffered a mild concussion after being hit by a plastic water bottle would not figure into his motivation for Sunday.

"I'm confident that everything has been taken care of and nothing like that will happen again," Boozer said.

North Carolina State coach Herb Sendek, whose team's appearance in the Top 25 this week might be short-lived after last night's game, was left highly impressed with the Blue Devils.

"Tonight we witnessed an awesome basketball team on all cylinders," he said.

N.C. STATE-Evtimov 6-11 3-6 16, Melvin 5-6 0-0 12, Grundy 8-11 0-2 16, Miller 0-3 2-2 2, Hodge 1-5 1-4 3, Bell 0-2 0-3 0, Keeter 0-0 0-0 0, Roach 0-0 1-2 1, Sherrill 2-4 4-4 8, Crawford 0-2 0-0 0, Collins 2-4 0-0 4, Powell 3-6 3-3 9. Totals 27-54 14-26 71.

DUKE-Jones 7-8 0-0 14, Dunleavy 5-13 2-2 12, Boozer 13-14 6-8 32, Duhon 2-8 3-3 8, Williams 8-15 3-4 20, Horvath 1-1 2-2 4, Ewing 4-5 0-0 11, Means 0-0 0-0 0, Buckner 0-1 0-0 0, Sanders 1-1 1-1 3, Borman 0-0 0-0 0, Christensen 0-0 0-0 0, Love 0-0 2-4 2, Causey 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 42-67 19-24 108. Half-Duke, 49-39. 3-point goals-NC State 3-14 (Evtimov 1-3, Melvin 2-3, Grundy 0-2, Miller 0-2, Hodge 0-1, Bell 0-1, Sherrill 0-2), Duke 5-17 (Dunleavy 0-5, Duhon 1-4, Williams 1-5, Ewing 3-3). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-NC State 26 (Hodge 10), Duke 34 (Dunleavy 9). Assists-NC State 13 (Miller 4), Duke 23 (Duhon, Williams, Ewing 5). Total fouls-NC State 19, Duke 19. Technicals-Jones. A-9,314.

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