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November 30, 2005

Duke topples Indiana

Duke looked on the verge of blowing out Indiana when the Blue Devils sprinted out to a 16-2 lead. The 75-67 victory was anything but easy though, as Duke prevailed over a gritty Hoosiers squad that actually forged ahead late in the second half behind a great performance from Marco Killingsworth.

Senior All-American J.J. Redick was the difference for Duke, as he scored 29 points, many in crucial situations down the stretch in the face of Indiana spurts.

Arguably the biggest play of the game came at the 2:21 mark when Redick caught a pass on the wing, used a hesitation dribble to break a double team and got in the lane to score as Indiana's Marshall Strickland fouled him.

The following free throw gave Duke a 70-65 lead, and while two Strickland free throws cut the margin back down to 70-67 in the final minute, Redick and freshman Greg Paulus combined to make five free throws in the final 43 seconds to put the game away.

Mike Krzyzewski again used a short bench, playing only six players for significant minutes. Freshmen Martynas Pocius and Eric Boateng each got in the game, but for only a combined four minutes of play.

The Devils needed their best firepower to hold off an impressive effort from the Hoosiers, which meant the top six players would carry the load.

Redick and Shelden Williams combined for 42 points on the night, but Duke got valuable contributions from Greg Paulus and Lee Melchionni to help seal the win.

Paulus dished out six assists, finding open diagonal looks in the halfcourt to set some easy points for Josh McRoberts and Williams. The freshman point guard once again played 39 minutes, just as he did against Memphis last Friday, and made big free throws late to help seal the win.

Duke focused their defense on shutting down IU's three point shooting, which in the first three games was averaging 14 three pointers per contest.

Duke accomplished that objective, holding the Hoosiers to just 10 attempts and only two made three pointers. One of those two came from Killingsworth, so the Devils only surrendered one three point shot to a regular outside threat, Strickland.

The emphasis on the perimeter defense helped Killingsworth have a career night under the goal. His 34 point effort helped bring Indiana back from their big early hole and got both McRoberts and Williams in foul trouble.

On the flip side, Duke forced him into seven turnovers. For the game, Duke scored 19 points off 16 Hoosier turnovers.

Duke had their own problems taking care of the ball though, especially in the first half. 14 of Duke's 19 turnovers came in the first 20 minutes, including several in a sloppy stretch of basketball after the initial 16-2 outburst.

The win improves Duke to 7-0 all time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and helped assure the ACC of the league's 7th straight win in the event.

The ACC won the 2005 Challenge with six wins to the Big Ten's five.


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