It’s no mystery that the men’s basketball team has lacked interior players who don’t exactly meet the definition of a big-time post threat. But Duke center Shelden Williams showed them first-hand what that definition is Saturday, as the No. 1 Blue Devils beat the Owls 74-66 at the Wachovia Center.
With Duke guard J.J. Redick consistently covered, the Blue Devils turned to their inside game. Williams responded with a team-high 23 points and 12 rebounds. The Blue Devils outrebounded the Owls 44-33.
Senior point guard Mardy Collins was forced to pick up the Owls’ shooting woes. Collins hit 13 of 25 shots for 26 points, but the rest of the team shot just 35 percent from the field.
The Owls (15-11) kept pace with Duke (27-1) in the first half, heading to the locker room down 38-32. But the Owls started the second half shooting cold. They hit just 4 of 14 field goal attempts during the first nine minutes, as Duke took a 56-41 lead.
The Owls then went on a 15-5 run over the next five minutes to make the game interesting and to pull within five, at 61-56. But with Collins on the sideline nursing a foot injury, the Blue Devils regained control of the game.
Collins returned three minutes later with the Owls down 65-56. The Owls did not get any closer until they staged a desperation rally in the game’s final minute. They pulled within five, at 71-66, with 20 seconds remaining, but time was not on their side.
Redick became the Atlantic Coast Conference’s all-time leading scorer, passing Wake Forest’s Dickie Hemric. However, the Owls held Redick to a season-low 11 points. … Collins passed Terence Stansbury to become Temple’s fourth all-time highest scorer.
John Kopp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.