Another "Ugly" Victory as Duke beats SJU 58-47

Lee Melchionni scored a game high 16 points as Duke held off St. John's in the the Garden

Earlier in the week Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski learned that starting point guard Sean Dockery was likely lost for the rest of the season. On Saturday afternoon it seemed that the junior's absence would spell more trouble than originally anticipated as Duke stumbled to an 11 point victory over St. John's.

In Dockery's absence, reserve forward Lee Melchionni turned in his best performance of the season, hitting for 16 points and a career best nine rebounds to pace the Devils to a 21st victory on the season.

While Melchionni was having a career afternoon, several teammates were experiencing some of their worst performances of the season as Duke started out just 3-of-20 from the field, giving the Red Storm every opportunity to take the lead. However, the Red Storm continued to fail from the field and never earned more than a five point lead.

Trailing 11-7 midway through the first half, Duke began to respond on the offensive end, sparked by freshman DeMarcus Nelson and Melchionni. Nelson found Melchionni in the corner for a three and then earned a trip to the line to tie the game at the 7:40 mark. Duke would then find Melchionni again for another three to put the Blue Devils up for good at 14-11.

Though both teams would struggle with their shooting in the first half, Duke managed to take advantage of some costly SJU misses and would push the lead to a comfortable 28-17 margin at the half, ending on a 21-6 run.

An early surge from the Red Storm kept the game close throughout the second half, and the outcome seemed somewhat in doubt when Duke's Shelden Williams fouled out with just under three minutes remaining. However, a pair of jumpers from Daniel Ewing kept the Duke lead at nine, before J.J. Redick iced the game at the free throw line in the final 90 seconds.

Williams finished with eight points and 11 rebounds

Redick and Ewing both struggled from the field for much of the game, combining for just 5-of-24 from the field. However, Redick was a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line and finished with 13 points. Ewing added nine.

Duke closes out the 2004-2005 home schedule on Thursday when they host the Miami Hurricanes in Cameron Indoor.

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