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Blue Devils defense stifles Texas 89-61

Associated Press
Published December 21, 2003

NEW YORK - Just call it Cameron Square Garden.

J.J. Redick had 20 points to lead six players in double figures, and No.3 Duke beat No.11 Texas 89-61 on Saturday. The game was played before a pro-Blue Devils sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden that sounded as if it were at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

"This was like a home game but still, in a building like this, it was a special experience," Redick said.

Duke won its fifth straight, and like the previous four, it did so with defense.

"Our defense has been consistently excellent recently," Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "And we didn't do a bad job executing on offense."

The Longhorns missed their first nine shots and shot 25 percent (9-for-36) in falling behind 48-29 at halftime.

It didn't get better in the second half. Duke's defense forced the Texas guards to try to get rid of the ball quickly, and that meant low-percentage shots.

The Blue Devils shot 62 percent in the first half (18-for-29) and 57 percent (31-for-54) for the game.

The defense allowed Duke to get out on the break. No play drew a bigger cheer than Chris Duhon's behind-the-back pass to Luol Deng for a dunk that made it 40-23 with 4:10 left in the half.

Duhon had 15 points and nine assists, and Shelden Williams had 14 points, Deng 12 and Shavlik Randolph and Sean Dockery 10 each.

"Duhon was spectacular," Krzyzewski said. "His quickness and his verve throughout the game gave us so much confidence."

Royal Ivey and Brad Buckman each had 12 points for the Longhorns, who shot 32 percent (21-for-66). Ivey had nine assists.

"We missed shots early, and they stayed with their game plan," Ivey said. "They were stepping up and got the game going the way they wanted."

In their past four games, the Blue Devils allowed an average of 50 points, held opponents to 37 percent shooting and forced 20 turnovers.

Texas entered the game with a plus-18.5 rebound margin. Duke outrebounded it 43-34 with Williams and Randolph each grabbing nine. The Longhorns had a 21-14 advantage on the offensive end, but most weren't converted.

"We didn't play the way we're capable of playing," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "The difference was in the post players. They spread you out because they can shoot it. We had to put pressure on them in the post and we didn't."

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