Blue Devils Douse Flames, 88-55

Heading down the stretch in the first half, it seemed as though the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames were poised to take a second ACC team to the wire. Then the Blue Devils took control on the strength of a record setting defensive effort to earn a seventh victory on the season in convincing fashion.

Heading down the stretch in the first half, it seemed as though the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames were poised to take a second ACC team to the wire. Then the Blue Devils took control on the strength of a record setting defensive effort to earn a seventh victory on the season in convincing fashion. Shelden Williams scored 23 points, pulled down 14 rebounds, and blocked seven shots to lead the Blue Devils past the Flames 88-55. It was Williams' 23rd double-double, the most of any active ACC player.

The Flames started quickly, getting 15 first half points from euro-transplant Jovan Stefanov to build an eight point lead midway through the first period. Though Duke would tie the game at 25, it seemed as though the Horizon League visitors were up to the task of matching the Blue Devils.

Clinging to a two point lead, Duke got a driving basket by freshman DeMarcus Nelson and a three pointer from J.J. Redick to take a seven point lead into intermission. Little did UIC know that the bottom was about to fall out from under them.

Redick finished with 21 points on the night, helping Duke improve to 7-0 on the season. Nelson added 9 points and four rebounds.

Duke opened the second half on a 16-0 run that included Williams scoring the first eight, as part of a 24-2 spurt that straddled the halftime break. Just when the Flames has seemingly stemmed the bleeding, the 6-foot-9 Oklahoma native took a Daniel Ewing pass and converted the big jam, igniting the Cameron Crazies.

With Williams setting the tone, Duke set a school record with 18 blocked shots on the evening, including four by junior big man Shavlik Randolph. The stifling defense also yielded 14 steals and forced 23 turnovers, while holding UIC to just 31% shooting after halftime and 37% for the game.

Senior Daniel Ewing added 14 points, five assists, and five steals for Duke, which outscored UIC 19-8 on fast break points and 34-26 in the paint.

Next up for Duke is a trip to Madison Square Garden for a match up with the Oklahoma Sooners on December 18th.


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