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Updated: Sunday, February 16, 2003 12:12 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(8) Duke 78, Virginia 59
DUKE BLUE DEVILS
Duke Blue Devils
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VIRGINIA CAVALIERS
Virginia Cavaliers
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (Ticker) -- Duke ran out of gas on Thursday night at Wake Forest. But the Blue Devils had plenty in the tank against Virginia.

Freshman Shelden Williams scored 20 points and Dahntay Jones 17 as the eighth-ranked Blue Devils built an 18-point lead in the first half and snapped a four-game road losing streak with a dominating 78-57 Atlantic Coast Conference victory.

Duke (17-4, 7-4 ACC) had dropped four in a row on the road for the first time since the 1995-96 season, including a double-overtime loss at Wake Forest on Thursday night in which the Demon Deacons closed with a 20-5 run.

A day of rest apparently did wonders for the Blue Devils, who also found their shooting touch after connecting from a mere 36 percent in their last four games. Duke shot 45 percent (30-of-67) overall and quickly silenced the crowd at University Hall by sprinting out to an 18-6 lead just over nine minutes into the contest.

"The good night sleep helped. In the shootaround today, we didn't do much," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "They didn't put their heads down. I think you credit players fully for something like that. The leadership of this team helped in that regard."

Jones, who missed all 12 of his shots from the field on Thursday night, had two of Duke's first three baskets on a layup and a jumper. Daniel Ewing had a three-point play and a dunk in a 15-second span, and buried a 3-pointer less than two minutes later to make it 18-6.

Freshman J.J. Redick, a native of Roanoke, Virginia, had 15 points. He had nine points in the first half, including a 3-pointer with 5:58 left that gave the Blue Devils their biggest lead of the half at 32-14.

"Duke would have beaten a lot of teams tonight," Virginia coach Pete Gillen said. "They would have beaten almost anyone in the country. They played great defense and they were focused. They were really, really sharp."

Redick, who helped Cave Spring High School to a state title last year, was booed often by Virginia fans who felt he abandoned the Commonwealth State by enrolling at Duke.

A pair of free throws by Williams with five seconds left made it 39-22 at halftime. Williams had all four of his blocks in the first half and finished with eight rebounds.

Virginia got no closer than 13 points in the second half. The Cavaliers cut the lead to 53-40 on the 3-pointer by Todd Billet with 11:36 left, but Duke answered with a three-point play by Williams.

The Cavaliers cut the deficit to 60-47 on a basket by Travis Watson with 7:48 left before a 3-pointer by Redick and a dunk by Jones make it a 65-49 game.

Jones put an exclamation point on the victory with a flying dunk over Nick Vander Laan with three minutes left that ended in a three-point play. As Jones hit the floor, he did several pushups before getting up.

Elton Brown scored 17 points and Billet 13 for Virginia (14-9, 5-6), which lost at home for the first time in 11 games this season.

Watson, Virginia's leading scorer, had just six points but grabbed 10 rebounds.

"We were fortunate that Shelden did a really good job on (Watson)," Krzyzewski said. "I thought he was instinctive tonight. He had a great game."

The 59 points was the Cavaliers' lowest point total at home.

"We just couldn't score," Gillen said.

Duke has won 15 of its last 17 meetings with Virginia, including a 104-93 rout at Cameron Indoor stadium in January. The Blue Devils posted their 100th win over Virginia and lead the all-time series, 100-47. Duke had lost its last two visits to Charlottesville.


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