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Updated: Saturday, January 25, 2003 4:16 PM EST
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(3) Duke 91, Georgia Tech 71
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
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Duke Blue Devils
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DURHAM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- While Duke tried to find its identity, it found a weapon.

Freshman Shelden Williams totaled season highs with 18 points and 13 rebounds, leading the third-ranked Blue Devils to a 91-71 laugher over Georgia Tech in an Atlantic Coast Conference mismatch.

Coming off consecutive losses, the Blue Devils (13-2, 4-2 ACC) pulled away midway through the second half en route to their 22nd straight home win and 13th in a row against Georgia Tech.

Consecutive losses were big news across the nation, especially since Duke has not dropped three straight since the end of the 1995-96 season.

"A lot of people get two losses in a row, but because Duke got them, it's big news," coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We need to remember that we're developing as a basketball team."

The Blue Devils lost consecutive conference road games by a combined 26 points, looking nothing like the team that began last Saturday's meeting with Maryland as the only undefeated squad in the nation.

"For our kids to come back with this type of effort - it's been a long week, a tough week," Krzyzewski said. "They've stood in there and they've worked hard.

"They're still trying to figure out who the heck they are in a lot of cases, but today they figured out they can handle that kind of adversity and play well. I'm proud of them."

Dahntay Jones scored 21 points for Duke, which shot 51 percent from the field (31-of-61) while holding Georgia Tech to 39 percent (21-of-54). The Blue Devils dominated inside, holding a 41-29 advantage off the glass.

"I thought our big guys as a group, that was the best that group had played against a big team," Krzyzewski said.

With Georgia Tech boasting two players of at least 6-11, the 6-9 Williams dominated, adding three blocks and two steals to his career-best point and rebound totals. He played only 23 minutes off the bench.

"He's a freshman," Krzyzewski said. "He's trying to figure out who he is. All our big guys did something good today."

While Yellow Jackets guard B.J. Elder scored 22 points, freshman big man Chris Bosh was held to five in 22 minutes. He also had four turnovers and was plagued by foul trouble.

"He's very important and we needed him in the game," Georgia Tech guard Marvin Lewis said. "But at the same time, everybody else has to step up. When one man's down, we've got to have his back."

Lewis had 14 points for the Yellow Jackets (9-7, 2-3), who led late in the first half before falling to 0-6 on the road this season. They had two players foul out and two others finish with four personals.

"That's life on the road," Elder said. "We got some people in foul trouble and that made it tough for us."

Georgia Tech had a 37-36 lead 2:45 before intermission, but the Blue Devils scored the final six points of the half and never trailed again. Williams dunked with a minute left in the half for a 42-37 advantage.

Duke extended the run to 10-0 for a 10-point lead early in the second half. Daniel Ewing hit a jumper and Chris Duhon followed with a 3-pointer for a 47-37 cushion less than a minute into the half.

The Blue Devils led by at least six points the rest of the way and by no fewer than nine over the last 12-plus minutes. Jones hit a 3-pointer and dunked for a 56-43 bulge with under 16 minutes to go.

"Their intensity was greater than ours," Lewis said. "There would be one mistake here or one mistake there, and they capitalized."

After Elder made a hook to get Georgia Tech within 59-50 with just over 12 minutes remaining, the Blue Devils scored the next eight points for a 67-50 cushion. Williams had the final four points and added a layup and jumper shortly thereafter.

"Shelden was a beast throughout the whole game," Duhon said.

Williams' jumper with seven minutes left made it 74-56. Georgia Tech never got closer.

Casey Sanders and freshman Shavlik Randolph helped out on the frontcourt, combining for 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Freshman J.J. Redick added 10 points and Ewing chipped in 10 off the bench.

Redick also set the school's record for consecutive free throws, making all six of his attempts to reach 40 straight - five more than the previous mark set by Christian Laettner.

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