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NCAA Tournament Recap (Radford-Duke)
Posted: Sat March 14, 1998 at 1:12 a.m ESTRoshown McLeod scored 19 of his 23 points in the first half as top seed Duke rolled to a 99-63 victory over Radford in a South Region first-round contest at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Chris Carrawell added 16 points for the Blue Devils (30-3), who have only lost twice, both times to archrival North Carolina, in their last 23 games. The Blue Devils will play eighth-seeded Oklahoma State in Sunday's second round. "I was really pleased with our team," said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. "You could tell we had a lot of respect for Radford because we came out and played really hard." McLeod connected on 8-of-13 field goals, including 2-of-3 three-pointers, in the first 20 minutes as the Blue Devils built a 51-19 halftime advantage. The Highlanders converted just seven field goals and committed 18 turnovers in the period. Leslie Ballard scored 16 points and Corey Reed added 14 for Radford (20-10), which was making its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. "They were the toughest draw we could have had," said Radford coach Ron Bradley. "Watching them on tape, they are as good defensively as any team. You can't help off any of their players." A jumper by William Avery gave the Blue Devils a 17-5 lead with five minutes gone in the first half. Radford fought back, briefly cutting the deficit to 17-10 on two free throws by Chibi Johnson. But then the Highlanders fell apart as Duke scored the next 18 points to take a 35-10 advantage on Chappell's jumper with 8:40 to play in the half. Shane Battier started the outburst by banking in an eight-footer and Carrawell followed with a dunk. Carrawell connected on one from the line and Battier and McLeod followed with consecutive layups to make it 26-10. "We wanted to come out from the start and be aggresive offensively and defensively," said McLeod. "We need to continue to build on what we did tonight." McLeod hit one from the line and a four-foot bank shot to make it 29-10, and Carrawell followed a jumper and two free throws before Chappell's jump shot capped the barrage. "We wanted to limit their open shots," said Carrawell. "They are a good shooting team, especially (Corey Reed). On offense, we wanted to attack. We're not a three-point shooting team. We're focused on the inside game. That's our focus." Battier, Chappell and Elton Brand scored 12 points apiece for Duke, which shot 51 percent (20-of-39) in the first half en route to finishing at 54 percent (40-of-74). The Blue Devils, who got points from every player except Trajan Langdon, committed just 12 turnovers while forcing 26. Reed briefly stemmed the onslaught with a three-pointer, but Duke closed the first half with a 13-4 run as McLeod ended the first half with a jump shot from the left side. Kevin Robinson tallied nine points and 10 rebounds for Radford, which shot a meager 36 percent (22-of-61) despite hitting on 9-of-19 three-pointers. "It was a great experience," said Johnson. "It was a learning experience for the younger players and they are going to build on this. "We got them here and they need to work hard in the offseason. I wold not trade this experience for anything in the world." Brand, Battier and Burgess had six rebounds apiece as Duke built a 41-35 advantage on the boards. McLeod and Wojciechowski each had three of Duke's 17 steals. "Overall, we've played hard just about every game," added Krzyzewski. "That's been my goal as a coach -- to respect our opponent and get ready to play."
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