No. 3 Duke dunks North Carolina

Williams, Boozer lead Blue Devils to victory in their final home game

Posted: Monday, March 04, 2002

DURHAM, N.C. -- Jason Williams and Juneau's Carlos Boozer lost their first two games as collegians -- and not many more since.

Williams scored 23 of his 37 points in the first half and Boozer added 14 points, 10 rebounds and four steals as No. 3 Duke rolled over North Carolina 93-68 Sunday.

The two juniors, who plan to turn pro after the season, were given an emotional sendoff in Cameron Indoor Stadium as the Blue Devils ended North Carolina's worst regular season in school history with yet another double-digit loss.

Williams cried as he was introduced prior to the game, wiping tears from his eyes as he made his way to center court.

Duke is 90-12 and counting since Williams and Boozer arrived on campus.

"It all kind of hits you at once," said Williams, who was 12-for-22 from the field with five assists and three steals. "It's not fair to you, to your coaching staff and to your fans to hold all those emotions back.

"You have to let everybody know that you care and that you are going to give everything you have your last time out there."

Williams sure gave everything he had.

He made eight 3-pointers and notched the 10th 30-point game of his three-year career as Duke (26-3, 13-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) rebounded from its road loss to Virginia three days ago to complete an undefeated (13-0) home season.

"Jason Williams had a fitting end to his great career here," North Carolina coach Matt Doherty said.

Williams' point total was one shy of his career-high, set earlier this season against Kentucky.

Meanwhile, the loss by the Tar Heels (8-19, 4-12) all but guaranteed the school's first 20-loss season after winning at least 20 for 31 consecutive seasons.

The Blue Devils will be a heavy favorite to hand North Carolina that loss when the two meet in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament in Charlotte on Friday night.

"They've got a great team," Doherty said. "It's going to be rough having to play them a third time."

The Cameron Crazies taunted the Tar Heels with a pregame chant of "Soccer School" as North Carolina fell to 1-10 this season against ranked teams.

It didn't take Williams long to regain his composure after the pregame ceremony. He hit his first four shots -- three from beyond the arc -- as he scored 12 of Duke's first 18 points and was 6-for-9 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes.

A 25-footer by Williams capped a 22-7 run that gave the Blue Devils a 16-point lead 9 1/2 minutes in. Minutes later Duke went up by as many as 20 against a North Carolina team that shot 28 percent in the opening half and turned it over 10 times.

"Jason started us off right away," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "That's one of the better performances I've seen. That's one of those things you dream about in your final game. He scored more points in this game than I did in the last half of my senior year."

Jason Capel, who matched a career-high with 28 points, kept the Tar Heels closer for longer than most expected. His 3-pointer with 14:29 left closed the score to 60-47, but Chris Duhon made a 3-pointer, then fed Mike Dunleavy after a steal for a fastbreak dunk and the second rout of the season by Duke against the Tar Heels was on.

Duke's 87-58 drubbing on Jan. 31 gave the Tar Heels their worse loss in the Smith Center, and the defeat in Cameron handed North Carolina its 11th ACC loss by double digits as the program's worst regular season came to a bitter end.

North Carolina's poor ballhandling allowed Duke to take 72 shots. The Tar Heels got just 47 attempts after coughing it up 25 times.

"It would be like giving them the ball 25 times before the game starts and then say, 'Let's play,"' Doherty said. "Taking care of the basketball is easier said than done because they are so quick and their pressure on the ball really occupies your point guard. You don't see the passing lanes as much."

The game, normally one of the most anticipated in college basketball, didn't have much hype and it meant little to each team other than pride. The two had already secured its seeding in the ACC tournament and Duke had seen its record five straight ACC regular season titles snapped by Maryland. Duke and North Carolina will meet again on Friday in the ACC tourney.

No. 1 Kansas 95, Missouri 92

Nick Collison had 28 points and Kirk Hinrich added 25 as top-ranked Kansas finished the first unbeaten Big 12 season with a victory over Missouri in Columbia, Mo.

The Jayhawks (27-2, 16-0) enter the Big 12 tournament with a 14-game winning streak, last losing at then-No. 11 UCLA in early January.

Clarence Gilbert had 23 points for Missouri (20-10, 9-7), which trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half but twice rallied to tie it and briefly led after Arthur Johnson's three-point play made it 92-91 with 1:57 to go.

No. 2 Maryland 112, Virginia 92

Maryland ended its 47-year stay at Cole Field House in grand fashion, defeating Virginia to finish 15-0 at home and conclude the best regular season in school history.

Juan Dixon scored 23 points, Chris Wilcox had 21 points and 11 rebounds and Lonny Baxter added 18 points for the Terrapins (25-3, 15-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).

The ACC champs won their 12th straight and eclipsed the 22-3 regular-season record of the 1974-75 squad.

No. 4 Cincinnati 80, Memphis 75, OT

Steve Logan, in his final home game, scored 30 points, including a jumper at the buzzer that sent the game into overtime, as the Bearcats (27-3, 14-2) continued their domination of Conference USA. Cincinnati, which scored 10 of its 12 points in overtime on free throws, has won or shared each of the league's seven regular season titles.

Freshman guard Dajuan Wagner had 27 points for Memphis (22-8, 12-4).

Mississippi 84, No. 6 Alabama 56

David Sanders scored a career-high 23 points for the Rebels (20-9, 9-7), who finished the regular season 13-1 at home, including 8-0 in the Southeastern Conference.

Rod Grizzard and Antoine Pettway each had 14 points for the Crimson Tide (24-6, 12-4), who had their second-lowest point total of the season and committed 26 turnovers.

No. 7 Gonzaga 87, San Diego 79

Blake Stepp made a 3-pointer from 25 feet with 51.2 seconds left and finished with 26 points as Gonzaga beat San Diego to reach the West Coast Conference tournament championship game for the fifth straight season.

Gonzaga (28-3) is trying for its fourth straight conference tournament championship. The second-seeded Zags tied the school record for victories, set by the 1998-99 team that reached the West Regional finals.

No. 15 Illinois 67, Minnesota 66

Frank Williams' layup with 2.9 seconds left capped a 10-0 game-closing run that gave the Fighting Illini (23-7, 11-5) their eighth straight win and a share of the four-way tie for the Big Ten title. Brian Cook had 22 points and Williams added 12 for visiting Illinois, which finished in a tie with Wisconsin, Ohio State and Indiana.

Rick Rickert had 18 points for the Golden Gophers (16-11, 9-7), who led 66-57 with 3:15 to play.



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