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NCAA Tournament Recap (Tulsa-Duke)

Posted: Sun March 14, 1999 at 3:00 p.m. EST

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Top-seeded and top-ranked Duke looked every bit like the favorite to win the NCAA Tournament, putting forth a dominant effort and crushing Tulsa, 97-56, in a second-round East Region matchup.

The Blue Devils (34-1) used two 13-0 first-half runs to build a 30-point halftime advantage, led by as many as 43 and cruised into the regional semifinals for the 10th time in 13 years.

Duke was so dominant in the first half that Tulsa coach Bill Self told CBS, "They're awesome."

William Avery scored 16 of his 19 points in the first half, seven during the second 13-0 spurt. Elton Brand added 17 for Duke, which will face either fourth-seeded Tennessee or Southwest Missouri State on Friday in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The Blue Devils extended their school-record winning streak to 29 games and are four wins shy of setting the NCAA record for victories in a season. A fourth victory would also mean a third national championship.

Reserve Greg Harrington scored 15 points and Brandon Kurtz had 12 points and three rebounds for the Golden Hurricane (23-10), who suffered their worst NCAA Tournament loss. Tulsa advanced to the "Sweet 16" in 1994 and 1995 but also was eliminated in the second round by Clemson two years ago. Leading scorer Michael Ruffin, who averaged 12 points, was held scoreless and took only three shots.

After trailing 9-2 early, the Golden Hurricane used a 6-0 run to come within a point when Kurtz made the first of two free throws with 14:41 remaining. But Avery drained a 3-pointer to ignite Duke's first long run.

Self tried to keep the game close by calling a timeout immediately following Avery's 3-pointer, but Shane Battier had a tip-in and followed with a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it 17-8. Self called another timeout, but Brand hit two free throws and Battier drilled a 3-pointer, giving the Blue Devils a 14-point lead with 12 minutes left in the half.

Tulsa scored for the first time in over three minutes when Marcus Hill drained a 3-pointer, but it only briefly stemmed the tide as Avery hit a short jumper and Trajan Langdon, returning from three-game absence, connected on two free throws to make it 26-11.

Langdon, one of the top 3-point shooters in the nation, had been sidelined since the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament with a sprained left foot. He started and scored 12 points in 26 minutes.

Kurtz converted a layup with just over nine minutes left in the first half, but it was Tulsa's last points for over three minutes as Duke again reeled off 13 straight points.

Brand began the run with a three-point play and Avery drove for a layup. After two timeouts -- one official and the other a 20-second by Duke -- Avery drained a 3-pointer and connected on two free throws 16 seconds later. Freshman Corey Maggette buried a 3-pointer to cap the run and give the Blue Devils a 39-13 advantage with 6 1/2 minutes left until halftime.

Maggette's turnaround jumper with one second left in the period gave the Blue Devils a 53-23 lead at halftime and they eventually built their advantage to 97-54 with 1:55 to play on Taymon Domzalski's follow shot.

Battier scored 14 points, Maggette 11 and Nate James 10 to give Duke six players in double figures. The Blue Devils shot 48 percent (32-of-67), including 11-of-20 from beyond the arc, and behind six rebounds apiece from Brand, Avery and Maggette, built a 47-33 advantage on the boards.

Marcus Hill netted 12 points and Michael Ruffin grabbed eight rebounds while dishing out four assists for Tulsa, which connected on 34 percent (20-of-59) of its field goals and committed 20 turnovers leading to 30 Duke points.

© 2000 Sportsticker Enterprises, LP

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