11:30 PM ET, November 27, 2003
Sullivan Arena, Anchorage, Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Another day, another slow start for the Duke Blue Devils.No. 2 Duke, which struggled in its season-opening victory against Detroit, broke open a close game in the second half Thursday night and hung on to defeat Pacific 82-69 in the opening round of the Great Alaska Shootout.The Blue Devils (2-0) were paced by long-range shooting from Luol Deng and J.J. Redick."I just took the shots they gave me," said Deng, who finished 4-of-5 on 3-pointers. "I was wide open at the 3-point line."Pacific (1-1) fell behind by 22 late in the second half but closed to 72-64 with 3:52 remaining."I thought we let up and they didn't," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "They're fighters and they put some game pressure on us."Miah Davis, who led the Tigers with 24 points, said Pacific of the Big West Conference was not intimidated by the team that might be ranked No. 1 next week."I don't think anyone was fearful at all," he said.The Tigers led for much of the first half, and Krzyzewski credited Pacific with spreading its offense and setting the tempo.Duke took its first lead, 15-14, at 9:43 on a 3-pointer by Redick. Six points by Daniel Ewing fueled an 11-5 run that gave the Blue Devils a 39-33 lead at halftime.Duke opened the second half on a 14-4 run."I was disappointed by how much they penetrated," Pacific coach Bob Thomason said. "We tried to keep them outside 15 feet and No. 2 (Deng) did a great job of spreading us out, and we let them get inside the paint for some easy shots."The Blue Devils' lead grew to 63-41 at 11:52 but Pacific went on a 15-3 run to close to 66-56 with 7:24 remaining.Two free throws by Davis closed the gap to 72-64 with 3:52 remaining, but Ewing and Deng hit consecutive 3-pointers for Duke.Davis led Pacific with 24 points, and Guillaume Yango scored 18 and pulled down six rebounds.Ewing and Deng each scored 20 points, and Deng also grabbed 10 rebounds for Duke.Krzyzewski moved ahead of former UCLA coach John Wooden on the list for career wins, but the Duke coach downplayed the accomplishment."Nobody will ever challenge him for the number of NCAA titles and that's the number that counts," he said of Wooden, who won 10 championships. "The number of wins has to do with longevity and good teams."
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