No. 1 is done: Duke falls flat vs. LSU

Redick, top seed go cold in defeat

LSU 62 Duke 54

NCAA tournament

March 24, 2006|By ALAN SCHMADTKE | ALAN SCHMADTKE,ORLANDO SENTINEL

ATLANTA -- No more taunting J.J. Redick. He's not around anymore.

LSU blocked every cut and spin, contested every shot by Duke's All-America guard last night at the Georgia Dome, chasing the Blue Devils out of the NCAA tournament in the process.

The Tigers held both Redick and Duke to season-low point totals, winning, 62-54, to advance to tomorrow's Atlanta Regional final and sending home the tournament's No. 1 overall seed.

Duke (32-4) is the first No. 1 seed to fall, assuring the Final Four will not party with four No. 1 seeds for the 28th year in a row.

Fourth-seeded LSU (26-8) will play No. 2 seed Texas tomorrow with a trip to the Final Four at stake. It is the Tigers' first regional final appearance since 1987.

"Garrett, he gets the game ball for the night," LSU guard Darrel Mitchell said of Garrett Temple, who played all 40 minutes and defended Redick, the Atlantic Coast Conference's all-time scorer, for 39 of them.

"That may have been the best defensive effort that we've had or that I've seen one of my teams have," LSU coach John Brady said. "We knew we were not going to let J.J. Redick get into the offense. If there was ever a doubt J.J. was going to break clean, we were going to run somebody else at him, even it allowed two people to guard him and [let] somebody else go free."

Redick got his shots, 18 of them, but he missed 15 times. He was 3-for-9 on three-pointers and finished with 11 points, more than 16 below his season average and equaling his lowest-scoring game of the season.

Overall, Duke made only 18 of 65 shots (27.7 percent).

"As a team we didn't shoot the ball very well," Redick said. "LSU's defense, they really pressured the ball. ...

"This definitely hurts. The last four years have been pretty amazing and I didn't want that to end."

After Redick committed a turnover six minutes into the second half, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski sat him down and talked to him for half a minute. The message: Relax and keep working for shots.

Redick made only one more field goal. His three-pointer with 3:32 remaining gave the Blue Devils a 52-51 lead, but it was brief. And it was their last.

"It was great defense," said Temple, who grew to become LSU's top defender over the past two months. "When he [Redick] curled out and they threw the ball to him, Taz [Tasmin Mitchell] and Tyrus [Thomas] would be there with help.

"The referees were letting us play, so we were being physical with him without getting into foul trouble."

The Tigers, who showed no nerves or fear despite three freshman starters, took the game right to Duke. They were aggressive from the tip, blocking nine shots and daring center Shelden Williams to give them his best.

He nearly did, scoring a game-high 23 points with 13 rebounds, but his last points came on two free throws with eight minutes left.

"We could have had a better offensive game, there's no question about it," Krzyzewski said. "But LSU had a lot to do with that."

Redick has done this before, scoring only five points in a loss to Kansas in the 2003 regional semifinals. Duke failed to get over that same hurdle last season, losing to Michigan State with Redick managing only 13 points on 4-for-14 shooting.

The third time, it was Temple who stifled Redick.

"I was just trying to get a hand in his face and contest all his shots, or make him pass the ball back out," the freshman said. "I'm a defensive player. This is what I live for."

Temple could tell that Redick was getting frustrated as one shot after another missed.

"When he missed it, he was pretty upset," Temple said. "He was complaining to the referees about not calling fouls."

The Tigers won despite making only 12 of 23 free throws and playing much of the second half with Glen Davis and Thomas trying to stay in the game with four fouls apiece.

Darrel Mitchell and Davis each finished with 14 points, and Thomas had nine points and 13 rebounds.

"Duke's a team that everybody wants to play for or against," said Thomas, who also five blocked shots. "Tonight, we showed great character and won. It feels good to beat Duke."

Alan Schmadtke writes for the Orlando Sentinel. The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.