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Duke spells relief 'W-I-N'

February 12, 2006|By DAVID GINSBURG


J.J. Redick insisted that beating Maryland wasn't anything special.

So why did the Duke senior walk off the Terrapins' home court for the final time Saturday wearing an ear-to-ear grin as he shot a glance toward the screaming Maryland fans?

"That was a relieved smile, to have pulled off the victory," Redick said. "It was just funny to me. The game's over and they were still freaking out, getting ready to throw a water bottle or something."

Redick scored 35 points for a second straight game, Shelden Williams had 26 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks, and No. 2 Duke never trailed in a 96-88 victory.

The Blue Devils (23-1, 11-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) were swept by the Terrapins last season and had lost three of their last four at Maryland. But Redick said this victory had nothing to do with revenge.


"It means we're 11-0 in the conference. That's all I'm worried about right now," he said. "The stuff that's happened in the past is just in the past. I'm worried about the present right now."

Years ago, the mother of former Duke star Carlos Boozer was struck in the head by a water bottle in a game at Maryland. The fans remained under control on Saturday, even though the home team never really made a run in the second half.

"It's frustrating that you don't get that win," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "I think any game I've ever coached I thought we could win. We've won games believing like that."

The Terrapins were willing, but they just didn't have enough talent to offset the inside-outside duo of Redick and Williams.

Williams went 10-for-15 from the field, and was a force underneath both baskets.

"Shelden is a great defensive player. He ended up with seven blocks, but I think he altered many more shots," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We're very lucky to have him. I wouldn't trade him for anyone."

Redick made four 3-pointers and was 13-for-14 at the free throw line. Led by Redick, who needs one more 3-pointer to tie Curtis Staples of Virginia for the NCAA career mark (413), Duke connected 11 times from beyond the arc. Maryland made only four.

Redick didn't get his first basket until the game was nearly 7 minutes old, mainly because the Terrapins made a point of shutting down the nation's leading scorer.

"J.J. got 35 points in a very workmanlike way," Krzyzewski said.

Nik Caner-Medley scored 22 points and James Gist had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Terrapins (15-8, 5-5), who were seeking to avenge a 76-52 loss at Duke last month.

"It's unfortunate. We really wanted this game," Caner-Medley said. "It was mostly mental mistakes. When you play Duke, you can't have mental mistakes. You can't leave people open.

"Hopefully we'll get another chance to play them down the road."

Duke opened both halves with 11-4 runs. The first one enabled the Blue Devils to take control early, and the latter provided Duke with an 11-point lead after Maryland closed to 42-38 at halftime.

"When they get a lead it's hard to come back," Maryland guard D.J. Strawberry said. "They're the No. 2 team in the country. You have to do everything right to beat them."

Redick, who had 35 points in a win at North Carolina on Tuesday, began the second half with a 3-pointer and Williams added a layup. It was 49-42 before a jumper by Redick and a dunk by Williams put the Blue Devils up by 11.

Maryland spent the rest of the game trying to close the gap. But every time the Terrapins made progress - raising the noise level of the sellout crowd - Duke had an answer.

It was 64-54 before Williams made a layup and Redick sank a 3 for a 15-point lead. Then, after the Terrapins closed to 83-75, Sean Dockery hit a 3-pointer for the Blue Devils.

Maryland never cut the gap below seven points after that.

Before the game, Gary Williams was recognized as the winningest men's basketball coach in Maryland history during a ceremony that included the man whose record he broke, Lefty Driesell.

Williams then set out to earn his 350th win with his alma mater against a team that had beaten him 29 of 40 times during his 17-year stint at Maryland.

Duke hit its first four shots, including three 3-pointers, to take an 11-4 lead. Maryland closed to 13-12 before Williams scored on an alley-oop and Greg Paulus added a 3 for a six-point lead.

The Blue Devils did all this without a contribution from Redick, who finally made his first basket with 13:37 left in the half, a 3-pointer that made it 21-14.

Minutes later, Williams scored five points, Redick made two layups and Paulus added a 3-pointer in a 13-4 spurt that put Duke up 36-24. The Terrapins went nearly 5 minutes without a basket before Gist made a layup early in a 12-4 run that made it 40-36.

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