Chris Duhon's three-point shot from well behind the arc three and a half minutes into the second half sparked Duke's offense and gave the Blue Devils a lead over Georgetown which they held onto for the rest of the game to win 93-86. Just 21 seconds later, he was followed by a J.J. Redick three-point jumper, to begin a 15-1 run.
"First half, we were back and forth, back and forth, and you really can't win games like that. Second half we really wanted to focus on defense. We were playing well, but we wanted to take it over," said Daniel Ewing.
Top-ranked Duke (10-0, 1-0) and Georgetown (8-2, 0-0) were neck and neck in the first half, with neither team leading by more than four. The Hoyas entered halftime with a 44-41 lead. The Blue Devils came out with a renewed intensity and energy that was unmatched for the remainder of the contest.
"What a great basketball game," men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "The intensity of both teams was sensational."
Ewing notched his career-best 19 points, while Dahntay Jones and Shelden Williams both had double-doubles in points and rebounds. Jones matched his career-high 22 points and scored ten of the team's first 12 points.
Redick scored all 13 of his points in the second half. Though overmatched in terms of size by Georgetown's Gerald Riley, the freshman beat out his opponent with quickness and drive. The first year players showed poise and confidence, as demonstrated by both Redick's and William's strong performances.
"Age has nothing to do with it," Duhon said. "Those guys have played in a lot of games now, so they're getting more and more comfortable."
Georgetown's leading scorer, Mike Sweetney, fouled out after adding 23 points for his team. His fourth foul came in the first four minutes of the second half, forcing him to sit out for a crucial period of the game.
Any hope of a Hoya comeback was thwarted when Jones had a huge block of an attempted dunk off a breakaway by Georgetown's Darrel Owens with 5:53 remaining in regulation and Duke up by nine. Ewing then converted a three-point attempt just 20 seconds later and was followed within the minute by another three from Jones.
"We wore them down a bit," Duhon said. "They were getting tired, we were pushing the ball, and then keeping fresh guys in a lot of the time- I think that helped us out to go on a little spurt."
The Blue Devils showed strong perimeter shooting, especially in the second half.
"The ability to take tough shots and the confidence is what our team is about," Jones said. "Chris was taking tough shots, J.J. was taking some tough shots, even when he wasn't making them. When things started to fall, his confidence started to build up and he was making plays rather than shots."
Duke's defense also stepped up big after halftime and was successful in stopping Georgetown's transition game.
"In the second half, defensively we took away their transition, by not extending our defense, just picking up at the top of the key," Krzyzewski said. "I thought that was a key factor, where they had us basically running back on our heels."
Duke's Achilles heel was its free throw shooting- the Blue Devils shot 6-of-15 in the first half and14-of-21 in the second half. Fouls were a problem for both teams, as the two squads each had ten fouls with six minutes left in the first half.
Duke seemed to be fueled by the energy provided by the crowd, which was louder than has been heard in Cameron Indoor Stadium all season.
"I'm glad we got a sixth man like we got," Krzyzewski said. "Our students were amazing... They were a huge, huge help. Cameron was hungry tonight."
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.