Redick, Deng lead No.1 Blue Devils to a 81-55 victory and another 20-win season.
By Associated Press
Published February 9, 2004
DURHAM, N.C. - J.J. Redick scored 23 to lift No.1 Duke past Clemson 81-55 Sunday.
Freshman Luol Deng matched his career high with 22 for the Blue Devils (20-1, 9-0 ACC), who notched their eighth consecutive 20-win season.
Duke has won 17 in a row overall and 38 straight at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Blue Devils continued their dominance over the Tigers (9-11, 2-7), winning their 17th straight meeting and 13th in a row by a double-digit margin. The Tigers have not beaten the Blue Devils since January 1997.
Clemson is 4-53 all-time in Durham, and has not won here since January 1995.
Sharrod Ford scored 19 to lead the Tigers. Shawan Robinson added 18.
Duke was coming off an emotional 83-81 overtime victory at rival North Carolina on Thursday night, and the Blue Devils looked flat early. They missed 18 of their first 26 shots and did not play the lockdown defense that had marked their winning streak.
But the Blue Devils used a 14-0 run spanning halftime to get some breathing room, then maintained their double-digit lead in a grind-it-out game that featured 49 personal fouls.
The Blue Devils were not the only ones who seemed lethargic early. The Cameron Crazies did not fill up the student section - a rare sight for ACC games - and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski yelled and motioned for them to get loud as he ran off the court at halftime.
The Tigers, meanwhile, showed no early signs of rust from a weeklong layoff since upsetting the Tar Heels 81-72 on Jan.31.
They fought Duke on every possession and got solid play from Ford and Robinson to hang around, but they never could make a serious run in the second half.
The teams were tied at 27 before Duke put together a quick spurt, scoring nine straight points in the final 90 seconds of the half - including a 3-pointer from seldom-used Lee Melchionni just before the horn - for a 36-27 lead.
The Blue Devils scored the first five points of the second half. Redick found Deng for a layup, then found him again with a no-look pass for a dunk and a 41-27 lead with 17:35 to go.