Duke fouls up, 74-73

Down 17, Indiana rallies to oust defending champ in regional semifinals

Boozer can't get off last shot

J. Williams hits three, but misses free throw with 4.2 seconds left

Ncaa Tournament

March 22, 2002|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Indiana turned a potential blowout into the biggest shock of the NCAA tournament last night.

The Hoosiers wiped out a 17-point first-half deficit and outlasted top-seeded Duke, 74-73, in a sometimes ragged, sometimes spectacular South Regional semifinal at raucous Rupp Arena.

Heavy underdogs against the defending national champions, the Hoosiers outscored the Blue Devils, 30-14, over the game's final 11:34. They advanced to tomorrow's 7 p.m. regional final against 10th-seeded Kent State, which knocked off third-seeded Pittsburgh last night.

It is Indiana's first appearance in the Elite Eight since 1993, when it lost to Kansas. A pair of free throws by reserve guard A. J. Moye with 11.1 seconds left provided the winning margin.

The victory was as improbable as it was pulsating. The Hoosiers trailed 29-12 in the first half, and by as much as 15 points in the second.

But Duke contributed to its own undoing with a horrid shooting performance by its star player, guard Jason Williams, and an awful night at the foul line. The Blue Devils made just 27 of 67 field goals, a 40.3 shooting percentage, and converted just 10 of 19 free throws.

In what is expected to be his final college game, Williams, a junior, made just six of 19 shots. Worse yet, he missed a potential tying free throw with 4.2 seconds left in the game.

Williams finished with 15 points.

Indiana's 6-foot-10 Jared Jeffries, recruited three years ago by the Blue Devils, scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. But midway through the first half, he had just one point and one foul, so effective was the physical defensive play of Duke center Carlos Boozer.

Indiana had planned to take the game inside to Jeffries, and that poor start did not bode well. But the Hoosiers (23-11) gradually picked up their inside game, and out-rebounded Duke 47-32.

"Our game plan was to go inside to Jared, and it got away from us at the beginning of the game," Indiana coach Mike Davis said. "I told our guys that they lost a big lead to Virginia, and told them to keep fighting."

With 12:04 left in the game, Duke (31-4) held a 59-44 lead. But the Blue Devils got just one field goal in the next 5:30 to let Indiana get back in the game.

With 1:54 left, Indiana managed its first tie of the game at 70, on the second of two Tom Coverdale free throws.

Duke's Chris Duhon lost the ball out of bounds at 1:18, and Coverdale gave Indiana its first lead of the night 72-70, with his only field goal of the game.

When freshman Daniel Ewing missed a three-pointer for Duke, the Hoosiers were able to run the clock down to 11.1. In a scramble for a loose ball, Duhon fouled Moye, who hit both free throws to make it 74-70.

Duke nearly forced overtime, though. After Ewing missed another three, Williams got the rebound, backed up to the arc and hit his three. The bonus was that he was fouled by Dane Fife on the shot.

And even when Williams missed a chance to tie, Boozer (19 points) got his ninth rebound, but got tangled up inside and his follow attempt never reached the basket.

Indiana's Jeff Newton wound up with the ball as time expired and Duke players screamed for a foul.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski refused to criticize the officials, though, and did not question the ending.

"That's the way it goes, whether [Boozer] was fouled or not," said Krzyzewski, who suffered only his third loss in the round of 16 after 10 wins. "There's human elements in all these things. I would never blame a loss on one player or an official.

"Be men, congratulate the winner and go on."

Indiana's inside strategy paid off in the long haul. The Hoosiers scored 40 points in the paint, and 21 of those were second-effort points. Davis said he got an assist from an unnamed Maryland assistant in formulating his game plan.

"I wanted to talk to someone who had beaten Duke, so I called an assistant coach from Maryland and got a great game plan," said Davis. "The first five minutes of the game, I thought about the game plan, but I stuck with it. It wasn't my game plan."

Krzyzewski handled his postgame obligations without angst, or even surprise.

"I'm not stunned," he said. "I'm 55 and I need a hip replaced. I coach a game where I know we can lose every time we go on the court."

Indiana got off to a dreadful start, falling behind 11-3 and 20-7. The Hoosiers failed to score on their first seven possessions and only a three-pointer by Fife kept them from a scoreless opening six minutes.

That dreary start coincided with the unlikely disappearance of Jeffries. Playing against Boozer, Jeffries didn't get his first field goal - a three-point shot - until 7:38 remained in the first half.

Up to that point, he had one point and one foul.

If Boozer's physical defense was suffocating, his offense wasn't bad, either. He made six of seven shots and collected 12 points in the first half.

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