Sunday , Mar , 12 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Redick’s hot hand leads Duke to ACC crown

Greensboro, NC (Sports Network) – J.J. Redick finished with 26 points and
Sheldon Williams hit two huge free throws down the stretch, as third-ranked
Duke held off 11th-ranked Boston College and managed to claim the Atlantic
Coast Conference championship with a 78-76 win at Greensboro Coliseum.

Seven of Redick’s eight baskets came from three-point range and the star guard
added four assists for the top-seeded Blue Devils (30-3), who have won seven
of the last eight ACC Tournament titles.

Williams added 18 points and eight rebounds while Josh McRoberts finished with
16 points in Duke’s ninth straight appearance in the conference title game.
Overall, the Blue Devils won their 16th ACC title.

Louis Hinnant finished with 20 points for the third-seeded Eagles (26-7), who
made an impression on the ACC by reaching the title game in their inaugural
season in the conference.

Craig Smith again displayed his versatility by netting 19 points, grabbing 10
rebounds while handing out seven assists for Boston College, which lost for
just the second time in their last 12 games. Jared Dudley added 14 points and
eight boards in the tough loss.

After a Redick three-pointer tied the game at 71-71 with 1:53 remaining in the
second half, Smith was fouled during a layup attempt and he hit both from the
line for a 73-71 Eagles lead with just under 1 1/2 minutes left. Redick again
had the answer though, converting from three-point range to put Duke ahead by
one.

Hinnant then missed a midrange jumper and Duke’s Greg Paulus grabbed the
rebound and called timeout before falling out of bounds. McRoberts was
immediately fouled out of the break and hit just one-of-two with 36 ticks
left.

The Eagles called a timeout and worked the ball down at the other end.
Eventually, Smith had it down low but missed a tough jumper from just outside
the right side of the key with under 15 seconds left on the clock and Williams
was fouled after grabbing the board.

Williams hit both from the line for a four-point lead, 77-73, but Hinnant kept
it interesting by hitting a running three-pointer with 4.4 seconds left.

Paulus was fouled and hit one-of-two, causing the clock to start after the
miss. Dudley got the rebound and pushed the ball to Hinnant, but his shot from
midcourt barely missed right.

Duke held the advantage early, using an 8-0 run to grab a quick 10-2 lead 4:28
into the first half. The Blue Devils later extended to a 10-point edge at
22-12 after a three-pointer by Redick with 10:37 left in the frame.

Later, five straight points by the Eagles made it a five-point game at 26-21,
but for the rest of the half Boston College could not get any closer than four
and Marquez Haynes’ layup sent the Eagles into the break down 35-31.

The Eagles completed the comeback early in the second, using five straight
points from John Oates to take a 39-37 edge 2:16 into the half.

Boston College later held a 47-46 advantage with 14:21 remaining before Redick
got hot. After a Paulus layup gave Duke the lead back, Redick knocked down
three straight three-pointers to propel the Blue Devils to a 57-47 lead with
11:49 left.

The Eagles fought back though, using a 9-0 run that was capped with a trey by
Hinnant to make it a 57-56 deficit with 8:52 remaining. Williams answered for
Duke with a layup and free throw for a four-point edge, but Hinnant came right
back with a basket from behind the arc to again make it a one-point game with
7:17 to play.

Then, after a free throw from Paulus, the Eagles ripped off six straight for a
65-61 game. Boston College continued to hold the edge and went up 71-68 with
just over two minutes left in the game until Redick’s three.

Game Notes

Redick finished 8-of-17 from the floor and 7-of-11 from three-point range. He
also had two steals…Paulus ended with 10 points, five boards and five
steals…Oates finished with eight points…The Eagles hit 30-of-52 from the
floor while the Blue Devils ended 25-of-50, but hit three more treys and nine
more free throws…Duke leads the all-time series 6-1…Boston College played
in the Big East last season.

BOSTONCOLL DUKE