Good thing, too. With little help from their teammates, Duke's
dynamic duo needed every point they got.
"It's something that we've been doing all along," Williams
said. "If he gets started, I get started after that. Or if I get
started, he'll get started from the outside."
Williams and Redick combined for all but 12 of their team's
points to help the top-seeded Blue Devils overcome a sluggish start
in a 70-54 victory over Southern University on Thursday night in
the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Williams finished with 29 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks,
while Redick matched those 29 points and made five 3-pointers. The
rest of the team was 2-for-12 from the field, with Josh McRoberts
having those two baskets on his way to eight points.
"I think part of it was that we thought it was going to be
easy, and this tournament is not easy," Blue Devils coach Mike
Krzyzewski said. "Hopefully, we learned that lesson."
Still, the effort was enough to help Duke (31-3) advance to play
George Washington next in the Atlanta Regional. The Colonials
rallied to beat UNC Wilmington 88-85 in overtime.
"You've got to win, or else you're going home," said point
guard Greg Paulus, who had seven turnovers to go with his eight
assists. "That's the No. 1 objective, and we got it. It doesn't
matter if it's pretty or ugly, as long as you're surviving. That's
what we need to be doing."
Chris Alexander had 19 points for the Jaguars (19-13), who gave
an inspired effort in trying to become the first No. 16 seed to win
in the first round. They led twice in the first half and trailed
only 40-37 with 16½ minutes remaining in the game.
"I thought we competed, and competed very hard," Southern
coach Rob Spivery said. "A little more offensive output by us, and
it could've been a different story."
Williams started a 16-4 run at that point with deft baby hook in
the paint, and Redick added a couple of 3s. Just like that, the
Blue Devils led by 15 points, and Southern never got closer than 11
the rest of the way despite the support of a small, enthusiastic
group of fans.
The pep band was a hit, too, as were their cheerleaders. Too bad
none of them could help guard Williams and Redick.
The Jaguars tried Jerrid Campbell and Peter Cipriano -- plus a
variety of zones -- on Williams, but nothing slowed down the burly,
6-foot-9 center. He nearly had a double-double in the first half,
going to the locker room with 18 points and nine rebounds.
"We felt like we were getting good shots and open looks,"
Williams said. "They fed me the ball early, and they started
seeing I was getting the ball in the hole. I kept getting more and
Redick was just as spectacular from outside and now has at least
20 points in four straight games. He also drove past Deforrest
Riley-Smith for a three-point play to give Duke a 64-47 lead, then
left the game along with Williams with about 2 minutes on the
He was randomly chosen to take part in the NCAA stipulated drug
test after the game and wasn't available to reporters.
"Those guys were great," Paulus said.
That's the good news. The Blue Devils finished with 20 turnovers
and shot only 43 percent in the second half, hardly the type of
effort Coach K expected.
"I don't think you take steps forward and back," Krzyzewski
said. "I just think you play. This isn't like an English course
and you've flunked the last paper. They're good players, and
sometimes they don't play as well."
Maybe it had something to do with the opponent.
Last season, Duke narrowly beat 16th-seeded Delaware State in
the first round, a result that was reminiscent of their seven-point
victory over Mississippi Valley State in 1986. Like Southern, those
are a historically black colleges.
"The main goal was to try and play as hard as we possibly could
to give Duke a scare and let them know that they weren't going to
just run over us," Cipriano said. "We came in there and played
our kind of basketball like we didn't know who they were."