Duke Survives Virginia and Advances

Had it been said that Duke's most productive players on any given night were David McClure, Shavlik Randolph, and Lee Melchionni, most would assume the Blue Devils wouldn't have fared well at all. However that unexpected trio stepped up in a big way on Friday night against Virginia to propel Duke in the ACC semifinals.

With the ACC's leading scorer, J.J. Redick, ice cold from the field, Duke relied on Melchionni's outside shooting before intermission as the junior knocked down four long range bombs on his way to 14 first half points as Duke rallied from an eight point deficit to take a 12 point half time advantage.

Redick finished with 15 points, but shot just 4-of-17 from the field and 3-of-12 from the perimeter. He wasn't the only Blue Devil who couldn't find his range. As a team Duke shot just 37% for the game and just 27% in the first half.

Shelden Williams added 10 points and 12 rebounds while senior Daniel Ewing added 16 points.

With Duke trailing 23-21 and Redick still unable to find his range, the Blue Devils began rotating the ball and eventually found Ewing at the top of the key. The senior knocked down a long three to put Duke up for good.

Soon it would be time for McClure and Randolph to step up. McClure hit a driving lay up and Randolph continued to get to the line with a flurry of post moves as Duke would out-score the Cavaliers 16-7 the rest of the way and take a 12 point half time lead.

McClure finished with a career best 9 points and 5 rebounds while Randolph added 5 points, 4 rebounds, and several blocks and altered shots.

Though they cruised into half time, Duke all of a sudden found their lead wilting as Virginia started the second half with a 13-3 spurt to cut the lead to a single basket. Though the Cavaliers had a chance to take the lead twice, they missed badly on a pair of three pointers and Duke quickly took advantage and pushed the lead back to seven.

The Cavaliers would close to within five before Redick finally got on track and knocked down just his second three pointer of the game. A steal and a Daniel Ewing lay up pushed the lead back to 10 at 60-50.

Virginia would get no closer than eight from that point forward.

The win moves Duke into Saturday's semifinals against North Carolina State.

The Devils Den Top Stories