Duke Powers Into Sweet 16

After watching their two All-Americans single handedly dispatch Southern in the first round, the Blue Devils resolved to give Shelden Williams and J.J. Redick some help against eighth seeded George Washington on Saturday. Duke put four players in double figures while easily advancing to a ninth straight Sweet 16 with a 74-61 win.

Redick tallied a game high 20 points while Williams added 17 points, 14 rebounds, and seven blocks. Unlike Thursday's first round game, the two got a lot of help. It started with freshmen Josh McRoberts and Greg Paulus.

McRoberts excited the crowd with a number of acrobatic dunks on the way to 14 points and a career best 13 rebounds. Meanwhile Paulus scored 10 points and handed out six assists.

After only three Blue Devils scored a field goal against Southern in the entire game, Duke used a much more balanced attack that saw every one of the seven man rotation score. In addition to the two freshmen starters, Lee Melchoinni (5 points), Sean Dockery (6 points) and DeMarcus Nelson (2 points) all found their way onto the scorer's sheet.

Duke will move on to fact the winner of the Texas A&M and LSU game next week in Atlanta for a spot in the regional finals.

The Colonials, who end their season with a program best 27-3 record, never led and fell behind by as many 18 early in the second half and never really challenged the Blue Devils down the stretch.

Perhaps the only negative for the Blue Devils was something that has been a given for nearly four full seasons – the free throw shooting of J.J. Redick. The Duke senior, shot just 2-of-7 from the line marking the first time he has ever missed four attempts in a game. Redick has now missed 35 free throws this season after missing 29 in the first three seasons of his career.

The Blue Devils improved their overall record to 32-3 on the season.

With his 14 rebounds against George Washington, Shelden Williams is now Duke's all-time leading rebounder, passing former Blue Devil great Mike Gminski. Williams now has 1,249 career rebounds.


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