Sluggish Duke Advances 70-54

Perhaps it is better to survive and advance than not, but if Thursday night's opening round performance against Southern was any indication, the Blue Devils' season may not have much left in it. Duke looked sluggish and disinterested on the way to a 70-54 victory over Southern in the opening round.

In the end it came down to the fact that Mike Krzyzewski has a pair of First Team All-Americans and Southern had none as Shelden Williams and J.J. Redick scoring 29 points apiece, good enough to out-score Southern by themselves, 58-54.

Williams added 18 rebounds for his 54th career double-double to propel the Blue Devils into the second round where they will look to advance to a ninth straight Sweet 16 against George Washington on Saturday.

For the second straight season the Blue Devils struggled through a slow start against the region's lowest seed, allowing the Jaguars to hang around throughout the early part of the second half before ultimately pulling away down the stretch.

After trailing by nine at the half, the Jaguars used a 7-1 spurt to start the second period to pull within three at 40-37. However, Williams would get free inside for a dunk that sparked a 13-1 run which would ultimately decide the game. Redick knocked down a pair of perimeter jumpers during the spurt and added a driving lay-up to put Southern away.

The Jaguars would get no closer than 12 the rest of the way.

While the Duke senior duo was spectacular on Thursday night, a win against George Washington won't be possible without a more balanced scoring contribution.

In total, only Josh McRoberts scored a field goal on the night. Greg Paulus and DeMarcus Nelson added a pair of free throws apiece to round out the scoring for the Blue Devils.


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