For all of 13 minutes.
The combination of Shelden Williams inside and Chris Duhon outside silenced the home fans quickly. A 27-5 run at the end of the first half ended the suspense in Duke's 85-66 victory Saturday, spoiling Georgetown's first sellout at its regular home arena in eight years.
"We knew with the game being sold out, Georgetown would come out with a lot of energy," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "They knocked us back early with the energy they had. We kind of hung in there. Our defense really took over."
More specifically, Williams and Duhon took over. Williams scored a career-high 26 points on 12-for-15 shooting, and Duhon was 7-of-9 with 17 points as the Blue Devils (16-1) won their 13th straight.
"Williams was very effective down in the post," Georgetown coach Craig Esherick said. "We had no answer him, absolutely none. ... That game was over early. But for some substitutions by Mike, it could've gotten a little uglier than that."
J.J. Redick added 15 points for the Blue Devils, who shot 61 percent in the first half and 56 percent for the game. Duke has won by an average of 23.4 points during its winning streak and has trailed in those games for total of 8:59. Georgetown held the lead just once - at 12-10.
The inside-outside attack was illustrated by an amazing stat: Only one of Duke's 55 field goals wasn't either in the paint or a 3-pointer.
No wonder Georgetown's Brandon Bowman had trouble deciding where to defend.
"I had to think twice on whether to go double-down on Shelden or stay out," Bowman said. "When they're hot and they're on, it's a lose-lose situation."
Bowman scored 19 points for the Hoyas (11-4), who have lost four of five after a 10-0 start. Georgetown lost to the No. 1 team for the second time in 10 days, having lost 94-70 at then-top ranked Connecticut on Jan. 14.
Duke's run made the lead 48-24 at halftime. By then, most of the noise was coming from the upper sections, where Blue Devils fans dominated to make up a sizable chunk of the crowd of 20,193.
It was Georgetown's first sellout at its regular home arena since 1996, when coach John Thompson and guard Allen Iverson led a Top Ten team that played at the now-demolished US Airways Arena. The Hoyas hadn't even filled half of the MCI Center this season; 8,194 against Rutgers was their previous top crowd.
Georgetown certainly wasn't shy. The Hoyas opened the game by attacking inside and playing tight man-to-man defense, an aggressive approach that kept them in the game early.
But the Hoyas are weak in the front court, and they couldn't stop Williams. Duke's first seven field goals came in the paint, which in turn opened the way for a stream of 3-pointers from Duhon. Duhon and Williams started a combined 9-for-11 from the field, while Georgetown's Gerald Riley and Ashanti Cook started 1-for-12.
Frustrated by Duke's defense, Georgetown made two jump shots to account for its only points over the final 7 minutes of the first half. Courtland Freeman, the team's most consistent inside presence, and Riley both had three fouls by halftime, and the Hoyas didn't shoot a free throw until the second half.
"All the shots we got that were good we had to work like crazy to get them," Esherick said. "I don't think we were patient at all the whole game. They pressured us out of being patient."