(4) Wake Forest 72

(11-2, 2-1 ACC)

(2) Duke 84

(14-1, 4-0 ACC)

1:00 PM ET, January 17, 2004

Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, North Carolina

1 2 T
#4WAKE 30 4272
#2DUKE 41 4384

Redick, Williams lead way for Blue Devils

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Shelden Williams controlled the boards, swatted shots and provided a rugged low-post presence for No. 2 Duke. It was the perfect complement to its balanced offense Saturday.

J.J. Redick scored 23 points, and Williams had 16 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocked shots to lift the Blue Devils past No. 4 Wake Forest 84-72.

Chris Duhon added eight points and 14 assists for the Blue Devils (14-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who have won 11 straight overall and 36 in a row at home. The win gives the Blue Devils sole possession of first place in the ACC, where they are chasing an unprecedented sixth straight championship.

Duhon's 14 assists and Williams' eight blocks were career-highs, part of a terrific all-around effort by the Blue Devils.

"We needed those types of performances to beat this basketball team," coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

Duke has dominated Wake Forest (11-2, 2-1) here in recent years, winning the previous six meetings by an average of 24 points a game. The Demon Deacons haven't won at Cameron Indoor Stadium since Tim Duncan led them to an 81-69 victory in January 1997.

Duke had about 36 hours rest after beating North Carolina State 76-57 on Thursday night, but showed no signs of fatigue in winning for the 15th time in 16 meetings.

The Blue Devils are poised to rise to No. 1 for the seventh consecutive season after No. 9 North Carolina beat top-ranked Connecticut 86-83 later Saturday.

The Blue Devils used a 14-2 run in the game's opening minutes to take a double-digit lead they would maintain for most of the way. Wake Forest hung around and closed the gap to three points midway through the second half, but never could dig out of its early hole.

"It's so hard to play catch-up with those guys," said Taron Downey, who had 14 points. "You know they're going to keep hitting shots and you've just got to play those guys for 40 minutes strong and not play catch-up with them."

The 6-foot-9, 245-pound Williams led a defensive effort that locked down an offense ranking third nationally at 87.7 points. When the Demon Deacons managed to get past the perimeter pressure, Williams and the Blue Devils closed the door by blocking 12 shots and altering countless more.

"I knew it was going to be a very physical game because they've got three or four big guys they can throw in there," Williams said. "I came in with the mind-set of, 'I know it's going to be physical, so I have to be physical first."

He certainly did that, getting the best of his matchup in the post with the 6-9, 275-pound Eric Williams. Eric Williams scored just six points, 10 below his team-leading average, and was not a factor.

"Shelden Williams was just a horse inside," Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser said, "and we had no answer."

The Blue Devils also had a balanced offense to match their defensive effort. Redick, Williams, Daniel Ewing (20 points) and Luol Deng (15 points) made big shots to answer any runs the Demon Deacons put together.

Duke shot 52 percent, including a 10-for-19 effort from 3-point range.

"We just had different guys step up in different situations," said Redick, who went 7-for-11 from the floor. "It just seemed any time they cut into our lead, a different guy stepped up and made a big play."

Justin Gray scored 18 points to lead the Demon Deacons, who shot 35 percent for the game.

After Gray's 3-pointer pulled Wake Forest to 45-42 with 15:53 to play, the Blue Devils responded with a 10-2 run, which included 3s by Redick and Ewing.

Eric Williams got the Demon Deacons off to a good start with the game's first basket, but Duke answered with a 14-2 spurt.

The only blemish for Duke during the spurt was when Redick missed his first free throw of the game, snapping his ACC-record streak of 54 straight dating back to last season. Redick hit his next five free throws and is 50-for-51 at the line this season.

Duke led 41-30 at halftime.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


2003-04 Season

» Jan 17, 2004 @DUKE 84, WAKE 72Recap
Feb 18, 2004 @WAKE 90, DUKE 84Recap