Guard Redick's 34 pace No. 1 Duke past Virginia

Making 37 of 40 from line helps Devils win, 104-93

College Basketball

January 16, 2003|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN STAFF

DURHAM, N.C. - Top-ranked Duke hoped to use last night's game against unranked Virginia here at Cameron Indoor Stadium as a simple tuneup for Saturday's meeting with Maryland in College Park.

The Blue Devils got a lot more than they bargained for, as the Cavaliers pushed the nation's only unbeaten Division I men's team for 35 minutes before succumbing, 104-93.

Led by freshman guard J.J. Redick, who scored a career-high 34 points, Duke (12-0, 3-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) maintained its unblemished record by making its late free throws.

The Blue Devils made 12 of 13 in the last five minutes, while Virginia (10-4, 1-2) missed four of its last six foul shots. Duke hit 37 of 40 overall, to 27 of 38 for the Cavaliers that included two on a technical foul against Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

"It was kind of a different game. There was never a real flow [and] a lot of fouling going on by both teams," Krzyzewski said of a shootout that had 17 lead changes and 14 ties before his Blue Devils found breathing room.

"For our kids to hit that many free throws - and ... we haven't been hitting them well - was key."

Redick made all 11 of his free throws, including the conversion on a crucial three-point play after making a twisting, off-balance bank shot from the lane that gave the Blue Devils a 93-87 lead with 4:32 remaining.

"That was a huge play," Krzyzewski said. "That might have been, for us, the biggest play. Not only did he get fouled, but somehow, he put the ball in."

For the game, Redick made nine of the 13 field goals, five of six three-point attempts, and in one stretch, seven straight shots. His point total was the highest by a Duke freshman in Krzyzewski's 23 seasons, breaking the record of 31 set 20 years ago to the day, against Maryland, by Johnny Dawkins, now the team's associate coach.

"J.J. was sensational," said Krzyzewski. "I thought he was extremely strong with the basketball today. That's why he got to the free-throw line. At the end of the [shot] clock a couple of times, he made huge plays for us."

It was a remarkable performance on another level for Redick, considering how nervous he was playing against the school that was his second choice. Redick spent four years of his childhood near Virginia's campus in Charlottesville before his family moved to Roanoke.

"Sure, it was a factor. I got more excited; I'm not going to lie," Redick said. "It was an ACC game, so I was going to get excited, anyway. Playing against UVa., which was probably my No. 2 option, made it a thrill."

Virginia coach Pete Gillen wasn't surprised.

"We couldn't stop J.J. Redick," said Virginia coach Pete Gillen. "We knew he was a great player. We knew he'd play well. We hoped he wouldn't get 30-something points."

Senior forward Dahntay Jones finished with 23 points for Duke.

Senior forward Travis Watson led the Cavaliers with 26 points despite second-half foul trouble.

Virginia pushed the Blue Devils longer than they had been pushed all season, something Krzyzewski was happy to see going into Saturday's matchup with the Terrapins at the Comcast Center.

"Obviously, that's how we're going to get better, to experience every kind of ball game," Krzyzewski said. "The last four games we've had - all have been different. Fortunately, we've won them all."

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