Blue Devils Surge Into Sweet Sixteen

Duke 74, George Washington 61


March 18, 2006

 

 

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams had plenty of help this time. From the acrobatic dunks of Josh McRoberts to the heady play from point guard Greg Paulus, Duke did just about everything right.

And now the top-seeded Blue Devils are headed to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament for the ninth straight season.

Redick had 20 points, Williams added 17 points and 14 rebounds and the No. 1 overall seed easily disposed of George Washington 74-61 Saturday in a gritty, foul-filled game.

Unlike the first-round victory over Southern University, when Duke's two stars scored all but 12 of their team's 70 points, everyone who played contributed.

McRoberts got his second double-double of the season with 14 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, while fellow freshman Paulus never got frazzled against the ever-changing, trapping defense used by the Colonials (27-3). He had six assists to go with 10 points.

Every other player who got on the court scored for the Blue Devils (32-3), who are trying to reach the Final Four for the second time in three years. They shot 52 percent in the first half to take control and never were threatened after that.

Duke next plays the winner of the Texas A&M-LSU game in the Atlanta Regional.

Omar Williams had 14 points for the eighth-seeded Colonials, and Mike Hall added 13. Two of their three losses this season came to teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference - the first was in December at North Carolina State - and they hardly had a chance in this one.

Duke led from Redick's 3-pointer less than a minute in, but the margin was only one when GW suddenly had trouble scoring. A 17-4 run capped with free throws from McRoberts pushed the lead to 36-20, with each starter for the Colonials getting at least two fouls.

They rallied to get within 11 at the break and eventually cut it to nine on a steal and a dunk by Danilo Pinnock. But the Blue Devils scored 11 of the next 14 points to resume command, and again the damage was done at the line. DeMarcus Nelson swished two for his first points of the tournament, McRoberts had one and Williams made all four of his to make it 62-45.

Duke finished 26-of-37 on free throws, which included Redick's uncharacteristically poor 2-for-7. It's the first time in his career he's missed more than four free throws in a single game.

Of course, that hardly mattered to him or Williams. Both decided to return to school for their seniors years in search of that elusive national championship, and with victories in their last five games, the Blue Devils certainly are one of the favorites.

Regis Koundjia fouled out and four other players finished with four apiece for GW, which finished with 29 fouls. That led coach Karl Hobbs, known as much for his histrionics on the sideline as he is for turning around his program, to spend much of his time yelling at the referees.

Pops Mensah-Bonsu, who sat out four games down the stretch for the Colonials following knee surgery, never was a factor and had four points and two rebounds in 13 minutes.

Related Stories