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Redick, Williams overpower Davidson

After absorbing a 29-point beating by No. 1 Duke, Davidson head coach Bob McKillop resorted to a comparison from his high school days in New York City to describe the way the Blue Devils played.

"This is an entire team that plays like they live on Park Avenue, but they refuse to give the court up on West Fourth Street," McKillop said. "West Fourth Street's a pretty darn competitive park, and it's asphalt, and these guys aren't afraid of getting their knees bloody and their fingers stuck in the chain rims. And that's what makes them so special."

The Blue Devils needed that toughness to defeat Davidson (0-1), 84-55, Saturday night, McKillop and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski both said. The Blue Devils (3-0) used a 14-5 run that spanned from the last minute of the first half to the 15:42 mark of the second period to push an 11-point advantage to 20.

The run, sparked by J.J. Redick's three-pointer as time expired in the first half and capped by back-to-back threes by Redick and Lee Melchionni, effectively ended Davidson's chances for an upset. Redick's three-pointer to close the half was also particularly devastating, McKillop said.

The Blue Devils' lead never again dipped below 18 points, and they closed the game on a 14-4 streak to win going away.

Redick and forward Shelden Williams-Duke's two preseason All-Americans-provided much of the offensive punch in a game when only one other Blue Devil reached double figures. The two combined to shoot 18-for-31 and finished with 49 total points. Redick's season-high 29 points included four of Duke's 10 three-pointers.

Williams avoided the foul trouble that plagued him during Duke's win over Seton Hall Nov. 16-even after he picked up a foul away from the basket on Davidson's first offensive possession. Williams finished just one blocked shot shy of a triple-double, with 20 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks.

Redick and Williams' 49 combined points were a season-high for the duo.

"It's kind of a thing that we have to do every game," Redick said. "Shelden and I have to come up and play big every game and we know that."

Redick and Williams were key figures in Duke's major run of the first half, which increased a 10-9 Blue Devil advantage to 21-10 over a five-minute stretch in the middle of the period. Redick's three-pointer with 13:30 to play started the streak and a one-handed breakaway dunk by Williams finished it.

The pass that sprang Williams on his breakaway came from point guard Sean Dockery. After Williams knocked the ball away from Davidson guard Kenny Grant, Dockery scooped up the loose ball and fed a streaking Williams with a long bounce pass.

The play demonstrated Dockery's trademark hustle, hard-nosed perimeter defense and his continued improvement running Duke's offense.

Though his long-range shot did not fall against the Wildcats, Dockery recorded six assists and committed just one turnover.

"It's just experience," Dockery said. "I worked hard and I'm a good point guard now. I get calls from [former Duke point guard] Chris Duhon every day... so I'm learning more and more and getting comfortable with it every day. I feel like I can do a great job out there of leading my team."

In between Duke's three major runs, Davidson played the more-talented Blue Devils close. Duke scored only four fast break points in the contest after registering 19 against Seton Hall in its previous game.

Davidson forward Ian Johnson led his team with 19 points-many off a wide array of post moves while being guarded by Williams, the reigning National Defensive Player of the Year.

"I am shocked at the margin of victory because it just seemed like it was a two-possession game the whole game," Krzyzewski said. "They have such a good winning attitude.... There are some teams who are going to be in real big trouble against this team."

 

NOTES:

Redick's four three-pointers gave him sole possession of fifth place on the ACC's all-time rankings. He is three, three-pointers shy of Wake Forest's Randolph Childress... Williams' nine blocks tied a career high... Forward Lee Melchionni scored 16 points on 5-of-13 shooting. He was 1-for-5 from three-point range until hitting two long-distance shots in the game's final minute... Duke shot 52.5 percent for the game, and 47.6 percent from three-point range.

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