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Veterans slam Duke into new season

Led by co-captains J.J. Redick and Daniel Ewing, who each scored 20 points, the Blue Devils defeated Tennessee-Martin in the season-opening game. A second-half run propelled the Blue Devils to a convincing victory Saturday night.  After months of preparation and two exhibition games, the No. 11 Duke men's basketball team (1-0) seemed to be coming out of hibernation in its 88-46 victory over Tennessee-Martin (0-1) Saturday night in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Shaking off the dust after a pair of preseason games when the team was hardly tested, Duke looked like a squad that had not quite learned to play without departed point guard Chris Duhon and versatile forward Luol Deng.

Even though the game's outcome was never in doubt, the Blue Devils shot only 32 percent from the floor and 4-of-16 on three-pointers. Daniel Ewing adjusted to his new point guard role, dishing out three assists while scoring 20 points.

"I didn't think we were playing poorly in the first half. We were shooting poorly," head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "If the other team quits on you, you don't have to worry about those things, but Tennessee-Martin played hard all game, so they stayed in there. I thought we were a little bit nervous shooting the ball in the first half."

The Tennessee-Martin attack still could not challenge Duke. Big men Shelden Williams and Shavlik Randolph controlled the paint and the Skyhawks' shot 37 percent.

Hustle plays at the start of the second half, coupled with improved shooting, allowed the Blue Devils to build momentum as the team fed off the responsive crowd.

As part of a 34-6 run to start the second half, McClure stole a Skyhawks' inbound pass. Ewing quickly moved through the key, taking a McClure pass in for a layup that riled up the team and the Cameron Crazies for the first time this season.

"Anytime people on our team make energy plays, it gets the team into it [and] it gets the bench into it," McClure said. "We feed off the energy of the crowd. We do get sluggish at times, when we can get the energy in the crowd, it definitely helps us out."

The McClure-Ewing scoring play ignited the Duke players. On their next defensive stand, McClure quickly blocked a shot, Ewing grabbed the ball and fed fellow freshman DeMarcus Nelson, who showed his strength with a powerful dunk.

Redick hoisted 12 three-pointers, several of which came either in transition or from several steps behind the arc. The junior, who hit four threes and scored 20 points, seemed resolved to shoot when he had open space.

With about eight minutes left in the first half Redick, displaying his defensive ability stole the ball and brought it down the court ending his drive with a jumpshot from the left side.

"I think our defense was pretty solid throughout the whole night, despite of how we played in the first half on the offensive end," Ewing said. "In the second half, we just put together both a defensive and an offensive game, and it clicked."

Ewing fueled the defense with five steals on the day, setting his team up for some pivotal offensive strikes.

Sean Dockery--whom Ewing beat out for the starting point guard spot--picked up two quick fouls upon entering the game midway through the first half. The junior did not take a single shot and never got into the flow of the game.

The point guard remained assertive offensively despite switching positions. He shot 4-of-8 from behind the arc.

After the team's offensive surge and even during periods of the first half, Krzyzewski used the game to try out various lineups. Off the bench, Lee Melchionni saw 20 minutes of action, scoring 10 points. Nelson, returning from an injury, played 18 minutes off the bench and contributed 10 points and nine rebounds.


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