Duke struggles with Hornets, but moves into second round
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) – Shelden Williams scored 14 points and pulled
down 11 rebounds as Duke struggled past Delaware State, 57-46, in first-round
action of the NCAA Tournament from the Charlotte Coliseum.
Daniel Ewing was the only other Blue Devil in double figures with 14 points.
Duke (26-5), the top seeded team in the Austin Bracket, will face
Mississippi State in Sunday’s second round. The ninth-seeded Bulldogs pounded
Stanford 93-70 in the last game at the Coliseum on Friday night.
J.J. Redick struggled shooting, going only 1-of-7 from the floor and
connecting on just one three-point attempt while finishing with seven points
in the win.
With the win, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski tied Dean Smith with victories
in the NCAA Tournament, winning his 65th all-time.
“We beat a good team tonight,” Krzyzewski stated. “They play an unconventional
style that got us out of our rhythm, but we managed to make some adjustments
and hang on for the win.”
Alain Walker led the way for the 16th-seeded Hornets with 13 points. Troy
Roundtree netted 11 for Delaware State (19-14), which saw its season-high
eight-game winning streak halted. The Hornets advanced to the NCAA
Tournament for the first time ever by virtue of winning the Mid-Eastern
Athletic Conference Tournament title.
“I thought our kids put forth a great effort,” Hornets head coach Greg Jackson
said. “There’s no question we gave it our best shot. The kids showed a lot of
patience and desire until the talent just took over.”
Duke began to pull away in the second half, using an 11-2 run to start the
final period to claim a 47-30 advantage with less than 12 minutes
remaining. Lee Melchionni ignited the run with a layup, while Ewing added
four points in the burst.
The Blue Devils’ advantage ballooned to 55-35 with 7:20 left on the clock, but
Delaware State reeled off 11 straight points to pull within nine. Jahsha
Bluntt started the surge with a trey with 6:30 remaining, while Roundtree
added a pair of threes to bring the Hornets within 55-46.
That is as close as the Hornets would get the rest of the way, however,
as Ewing’s pair from the free throw line accounted for the final two points
of the contest.
“I didn’t really get any looks and I forced a couple,” Redick said. “But the
most important thing in this tournament is advancing. Their guys played
extremely hard and expected to win, so it was good for us to come out with a
The Blue Devils grabbed a 12-3 lead in the early moments of the first half,
keyed by two three-pointers from Sean Dockery.
Delaware State answered with 11 straight points and surprisingly grabbed a
14-12 lead at the 12:33 mark. Bruce Davis capped the surge with a layup.
The Hornets continued to hang around in the stanza until Duke used an 8-0
spurt to close out the half. Ewing and Melchionni fueled the burst, with each
knocking down a trey, as the Blue Devils led 36-28 at intermission.