Tired Blue Devils exorcise Demon Deacons

Boozer scores 20 points, grabs career-high 18 rebounds as Duke beats Wake Forest

Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2002

DURHAM, N.C. -- A tired Duke found a fifth gear Saturday.

Jason Williams had 23 points, Dahntay Jones added 22 and Juneau's Carlos Boozer 20 points and a career-high 18 rebounds as the top-ranked Blue Devils fought off fatigue and rolled over No. 14 Wake Forest 103-80.

It was Duke's fourth straight ACC win in convincing fashion since a stunning loss to Florida State on Jan. 6, and it came less than 48 hours after a win over No. 3 Maryland.

"Right now we're emotionally and physically drained but it's worth it," Williams said.

"We approached this stretch as a Final Four," added Chris Duhon. "You play one great team one night and it takes a lot out of you, then you have to come back in two days and play again. We handled it well."

Since the loss to the Seminoles, the Blue Devils have beaten Georgia Tech by 25, N.C. State by 19, Maryland by 21 and the Demon Deacons by 23 to secure their hold on the No. 1 ranking.

"We're having a really good time out there, playing together again," Mike Dunleavy said of the recent stretch. "This basketball team is really maturing."

Duke (16-1, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) broke the 100-point mark for the fifth time this season two days after getting 99 against the Terrapins to once again take command of the ACC race.

"We try not to teach our team an offense, we try to teach our team offense," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said after his team shot 54 percent and turned it over just eight times. "Offense is about making reads. Our guys are allowed to make their own reads and they made some really good reads today."

Wake Forest (13-5, 3-2) knew it was in trouble after it shot 56 percent in the first half, had only four turnovers and still trailed 61-49.

"They're like an incendiary device, ticking away," Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser said.

Duke led 73-70 on Thursday night before it closed out Maryland with a 26-8 run.

The Blue Devils had another big run in them Saturday after Wake Forest had closed to 76-73 with 10:41 left.

Williams started Duke's stretch of 16 straight points with a driving layup that resulted in a three-point play, Boozer got a hoop on a goaltending call and Duhon made a shot in the lane as the Blue Devils went back up by 10.

Later in the surge, Williams made driving layups less than a minute apart and Dunleavy hit a 3-pointer as Duke closed it out with a 27-7 run.

"They are sharks," Prosser said. "They see that blood in the water and all it takes is one drop and they're ravenous."

"Our players really gutted it out in those last 10 minutes," Krzyzewski added. "I thought our execution was sensational."

The Demon Deacons, who lost two straight for the first time this season, opted to play Jones soft in order to double-team Boozer in the post and put pressure on the perimeter.

The move backfired as the former Rutgers transfer had the best game of brief Duke career, getting a season-high point total on 8-for-14 shooting.

"I think we proved today you can't leave Dahntay out there. He's going to hit shots, he's going to get rebounds," Dunleavy said.

"That's also kind of disrespectful to him. I guess that's called playing the odds, that's the percentages against us, but I don't think it's going to work. It's not like he's a bad player."

Darius Songaila led Wake Forest with 16 points and Josh Howard added 15 before fouling out with 6:20 left.

The Demon Deacons stayed in the game late into the first half despite a series of problems, including injuries to point guard Broderick Hicks and Howard, and three starters in foul trouble.

Things don't get any easier for Wake Forest, who play No. 3 Maryland at home on Wednesday night.

"I'm not really a mood guy," Prosser said when asked how his team reacted to the lopsided loss. "I hope they're really upset. I hope they're very, very, very upset. I hope they're angry and they bring that anger to practice on Monday."



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