It’s Duhon’s Turn to Shine for Duke

From Staff and Wire Reports

Chris Duhon has had to wait his turn behind a lineup of star players for No. 4-ranked Duke. The freshman’s moment came Saturday.

Duhon hit a running, off-balance 15-footer at the buzzer as Duke rallied in the closing minutes to beat No. 24 Wake Forest, 82-80, at Winston-Salem, N.C.

“That’s a shot you practice, but it’s usually used when big men are coming to block your shot, to shoot it over them,” the 6-foot-2 Duhon said. “I knew I didn’t have time to set up and shoot a jumper, so I just played off instinct.”


Robert O’Kelley’s three-point basket for Wake Forest with 7.5 seconds left tied it, 80-80. But Duke raced downcourt and Duhon, the team’s top reserve all year, hit the winner over Broderick Hicks as Duke, 25-3 overall and 12-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, defeated Wake Forest for the 10th consecutive time.

The Blue Devils had lost their previous conference road game, 91-89 at Virginia on Feb. 14. That defeat ended Duke’s record 24-game road winning streak in the ACC.

On Saturday, the Blue Devils trailed by nine with 5:29 left. But they went on a 14-2 run to take an 80-77 lead as Jason Williams, hurt early in the second half, returned to score 26 points.

Williams hit a 3-pointer and a shot in the lane during Duke’s late spurt. He also fed Duhon for the winning basket.

“Chris has the ability to float,” said Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski. “It’s not the last of shots like that that he’ll hit.”

Early in the season, Williams said he may have opted to take a three-point shot instead of passing to his fellow guard.


“Heck, I think Chris is a better shooter than me,” said Williams, the ACC’s top 3-point ace. “I went up and he caught my eye so I dished it off to him.

“We’ve grown up a lot together,” Williams added. “In the beginning of the year he was in position, but he wouldn’t shoot the ball. Truthfully, at the beginning of the year I don’t know if I would have passed him the ball, but he has built some confidence and is going to be a heck of a basketball player.”

The loss means Wake Forest (18-9, 7-8)--ranked as high as No. 4 on Jan. 1--must win its final regular-season game at North Carolina State to reach .500 in conference--which is important for gaining consideration for an NCAA at-large tournament bid..

“We lost the game, but we didn’t lose our heart, we didn’t lose our spirit,” Wake Forest Coach Dave Odom said. “As a matter of fact, I believe those things grew today.”

Wake Forest senior Rafael Vidaurreta had season highs with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while O’Kelley had a team-high 17 points.

“O’Kelley was O’Kelley,” Krzyzewski said of the Wake Forest senior who has scored 1,830 career points. “What a shot he hits to tie the game. It was like an incredible play had to beat an incredible play.”


Carlos Boozer added 20 points and 13 rebounds for Duke, which recorded its 10th 25-win season under Krzyzewski in 20 years. The coach also moved within four wins of 600 for his career.

Duke received a major scare when Williams, the third-leading scorer in the ACC at 20.8 points a game, hurt his left leg after landing awkwardly as he drove to the basket in the opening minute of the second half.

But the sophomore star returned with a limp two minutes later. He then appeared fine as the game progressed and proved to be a clutch shooter down the stretch as Duke made 10 of 24 three-point shots.

“The feeling of winning takes away all of that pain,” Williams said of his sore calf muscle. “Even though I was hurt, I didn’t want to show my team where they were like, ‘Oh, Jason is hurt.’ I just want my team worrying about us winning the game.”

No. 3 Illinois 89, Iowa 63--The Illini (22-6, 12-3 in the Big Ten) bounced back from a two-point loss at Ohio State and avenged its worst loss of the season by beating the Hawkeyes (18-9, 7-7) at Champaign, Ill. Illinois lost to Iowa, 78-62, at Iowa City on Jan. 3.

Senior Marcus Griffin scored a team-high 17 points in his last game at Assembly Hall as Illinois finished unbeaten at home for the first time since 1988-89, when it reached the Final Four. The Illini has an 18-game home win streak over two seasons.


Iowa lost for the fifth time in seven games since losing leading scorer Luke Recker to a knee injury.

No. 5 Michigan St. 76, Penn State 57--The Spartans (22-3, 11-3 in the Big Ten) went on a decisive 10-0 in the second half after losing the lead for the first time in the game at State College, Pa.

Charlie Bell and Jason Richardson each scored 16 points and Andre Hutson had 11 points and 16 rebounds for the Spartans, who scored 29 of the game’s final 38 points after falling behind for the first time with nine minutes left.

Penn State (16-9, 6-8) got 16 points from Joe Crispin, the Big Ten’s leading scorer at 20.2 a game.

Texas 94, No. 6 Iowa State 78--The Longhorns (21-7, 10-4)--the second-worst free-throwing shooting team in the Big 12--made 25 of 28 from the line at Austin, Texas to end a win streak at 10 for the conference-leading Cyclones (23-4, 11-3).

Maurice Evans made five of six three-point shots and had a game-high 28 points for Texas, which won its fourth in a row and beat a Top 10 team for the second time this season. The Longhorns beat then-No. 5 Illinois, 72-64, at Austin on Dec. 23.


Jamal Tinsley led Iowa State with 19 points, but fouled out with more than seven minutes left.

No. 7 Florida 89, No. 14 Alabama 68--Udonis Haslem scored a career-high 28 points at Gainesville, Fla., as the Gators (20-5, 10-4 in the Southeastern Conference) won for the nine time in 10 games.

Matt Bonner had 15 points and 13 rebounds--since second double-double since star forward Brent Wright was sidelined for the second time this season with a foot injury.

Alabama (20-7, 8-6) lost for the 22nd time in its last 23 road games, Coach Mark Gottfried, was ejected with 5:09 left after a dispute with an official, and seconds later forward Erwin Dudley received a technical after disgustedly throwing the basketball at the scoreboard above the basket. Alabama received a third technical in a 34-second span when Gerald Wallace got into a shoving incident with Bonner. Florida increased its lead from 13 to 20 points in that span.

No. 10 Boston College 59, No. 25 Providence 58--The Eagles (20-4, 11-3) overcame 31.1% shooting--its worst of the season--and leading scorer Troy Bell’s foul trouble to beat the Friars (20-8, 10-5) at Providence, R.I. and clinch a first-round bye for the Big East tournament.

Boston College had its lowest scoring first half of the season in trailing 31-24. Then, with 9:25 to play and Providence leading 48-47, Bell--who averages 20.5 points a game--picked up his fourth foul. Bell was out for nearly five minutes, but the Eagles went on a 10-1 run.


Providence nearly overcame a seven-point deficit in the final 1:07, but Romauld Augustin’s missed a 15-foot jumper bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded.

Bell finished with a 16 points.

No. 12 Mississippi 64, Auburn 62--Justin Reed and Rahim Lockhart combined to score 37 points, make 14 of 21 shots and get 22 points to lead the Rebels (22-5, 10-4 in the SEC) at Oxford, Miss.

Adam Harrington led Auburn (16-11, 6-8) with 16 points, but was short on a jumper that would have tied the game in the final seconds.

No. 20 Maryland 68, No. 16 Oklahoma 60--Juan Dixon scored all of his 23 points in the second half at College Park, Md., as the Terrapins (18-9) extended their home win streak against nonconference opponents to 77.

Dixon accounted for 20 of his team’s first 33 points in the second half and Maryland took command at 60-49.

Oklahoma (21-6) played with starting point guard J.R. Raymond, who was suspended for violating team policy and did not make the trip. Raymond had averaged 18.5 points in the Sooners’ last nine games.


No. 21 Georgetown 72, No. 17 Syracuse 61--Demetrius Hunter, playing on a sore Achilles tendon, made eight of 12 shots and scored 21 points at Washington for the Hoyas (21-6, 8-6) in their first home victory in five seasons over the Orangemen (20-7, 8-6).

Syracuse’s leading scorer DeShaun Williams was in foul trouble most of the game. He scored 16 points in first 20 minutes, but got his fourth foul in the first two minutes of the second half and fouled out with 2:42 to play.

No. 18 Notre Dame 85, Virginia Tech 61--Troy Murphy had 20 points and 10 rebounds at Blacksburg, Va., as the Irish (19-6, 11-3) posted their most-decisive Big East victory.

Notre Dame won a fifth consecutive road game for the first time since 1953-54. Virginia Tech (8-18, 2-13) lost its eighth in a row.

No. 22 Tennessee 78, Vanderbilt 70--Vincent Yarbrough made all seven of his shots and was six-for-six on free throws in scoring 20 points at Nashville, Tenn., as the Volunteers (19-9, 6-8 in the SEC) ended a losing streak at five.

It was the third win in 11 games for Tennessee and only its second win this month--the other also against Vanderbilt (15-12, 4-10) on Feb. 3.