January 13, 2003
DURHAM, N.C. -- Mike Krzyzewski keeps saying he has a different Duke team than in years past. But the results look strikingly similar.
Dahntay Jones shook off a poor start to score 15 of his 16 points in the opening 8 1/2 minutes of the second half as the top-ranked Blue Devils rolled over No. 17 Wake Forest 74-55 in a matchup of the last two Division I unbeatens Sunday night.
"It's very different because it's not predictable," Krzyzewski said of his young team. "You try to do things and then you react to where your guys are at at a specific time. We've tried not to put limitations on them. We're still trying to find out about our team and our guys understand that.
"With the competition we're now facing, you have to get better. You can practice and plan and do all that stuff, but really the game itself makes you better and the competition in our league makes you better. We have to get better or we'll get tossed aside."
Added Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser: "Duke is excellent here. Heck, they're excellent every place. They guarded us much better than we executed offensively. You don't have to be Dr. Naismith to realize that."
Duke (11-0) won its 20th straight in Cameron and 14th straight against the Demon Deacons (10-1). Wake Forest's last win here came in January 1997 with Tim Duncan at center.
And Wake Forest's streak of outshooting and outrebounding opponents was stopped after it shot 34 percent in its ACC opener and had 18 turnovers.
"Two months ago, this probably wasn't viewed as a very big game," Prosser said. "I give our kids credit for making it a big game. Now, Duke responded to the big game better than we did and we'll learn from this and get better. You don't have a whole lot of choices in this league."
Chris Duhon also was key for Duke. The junior scored 14 and added nine assists in helping Duke to a 10-point halftime lead.
Freshman Shavlik Randolph had 15 points and seven rebounds, while prep rival Eric Williams was a nonfactor for the Demon Deacons, who were held 32 points under their scoring average.
"I went out in practice this week like I had something to prove and I had one of my best weeks of practice," Randolph said. "That carried over to the game. We play like we practice."
Wake Forest star Josh Howard, who missed one of his trips to Cameron and fouled out of the other two, struggled on offense, going 2-for-8 in the opening 20 minutes as the Demon Deacons shot 31.4 percent.
Howard finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds.
"We took bad shots and then they were switching everything on defense," Howard said. "Our decisionmaking was bad and we didn't get the ball down low. Those things hurt us real bad."
NO. 5 NOTRE DAME 74, SETON HALL 64: Notre Dame was not about to lose another physical game. Chris Thomas scored 22 and Matt Carroll had 19 points and eight rebounds for the host Irish, who had their worst loss in three seasons Jan. 6.
"We moved on," Carroll said. "We learned from it. We knew what had to do."
The Irish (13-2) were outmuscled by No. 6 Pittsburgh, losing 72-55. Against the Pirates (5-7), the Irish held their own, driving to the basket continuously and forcing fouls. They shot 22-for-29 from the line. The Pirates were 8-for-9.
The disparity angered Seton Hall coach Louis Orr.
"It's discouraging for our guys to go in, night in and night out, with the officiating and have to deal with what they're dealing with every game," Orr said.
"Tonight, they shoot 29 free throws, we shoot nine. It's a joke. Does it take 20 wins or being a ranked team to get the same calls? It's just frustrating. I'm not saying that's why we lost the game, but it's discouraging to our guys."
Notre Dame coach Mike Brey called the free-throw line "a great weapon."
"You can go to the good old, boring foul line and just stick them," he said.
Andre Barrett, who led the Pirates with 22 points, said his teammates failed to take advantage, even after realizing the officials were calling a tight game.
Thomas made up for a 2-for-15 shooting performance against Pitt. He was more patient against Seton Hall and, helped by his drives to the basket, shot 7-for-16 from the field and 6-for-8 from the line.
The Pirates, who trailed by 10 at halftime, cut Notre Dame's lead to 48-45 when Barrett capped a 9-0 run with a layup with 14:48 left. Carroll countered with a 10-foot jumper, sparking a 9-2 run by the Irish. The Pirates never got closer than six.
NO. 6 PITT 70, RUTGERS 63: Pittsburgh was having trouble taking care of the ball and the shots were not falling. So the Panthers went outside the 3-point line in the second half.
Brandin Knight made two 3s in the second half, the last with 3:18 left to give visiting Pitt the lead for good. The Panthers were 7-of-8 beyond the arc in the second half and 10-for-18 overall. The strong shooting offset 24 turnovers, which matched the team's season high.
"This is a tough building to play in," said coach Ben Howland, referring to sold-out Rutgers Athletic Center. "If you do the other things, like shoot a high percentage and make tough shots, you can win, even with the turnovers."
The Panthers (12-1) entered averaging 16 turnovers and shooting 52 percent from the field. In the first half, they had 14 turnovers and shot 39 percent, but the score was tied at 25 at the half.
Rutgers (8-5) used a trapping press to keep Pitt from getting comfortable on offense, and the Panthers had 10 turnovers in the second half. But the shooting changed as Pitt went 14-for-22 (64 percent) to finish at 51 percent.
Jerome Coleman had 20 points for the Scarlet Knights, who were looking for their first win over a Top 10 team since beating No. 6 West Virginia at home on Feb. 1, 1982.
NO. 13 MISSOURI: Sophomore forward Najeeb Echols is leaving the team, coach Quin Snyder said. Echols' departure is effective immediately, though Snyder was unclear where he would transfer. The 6-foot-9, 230-pound Echols averaged 2.7 points and 2.7 rebounds, though he started the first seven games as a freshman. He has been bothered by an injured right knee.