RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Alabama State wasn't intimidated by Duke. Imagine if it was.
Playing in front of their home fans, the top-seeded Blue Devils had little trouble in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, cruising to a 96-61 victory over No. 16 Alabama State in an Atlanta Region matchup.
Daniel Ewing scored 18 of his 19 points in the first half for the top-seeded Blue Devils, who built a 10-point lead less than 10 minutes into the game and never looked back.
Even though they never led and trailed by as many as 41 points with 5:40 remaining, the Hornets were not intimidated, or so they said.
"I wasn't intimidated from the jump," said Malcolm Campbell, who scored 26 points. "Those guys have great tradition."
Five players scored in double figures for the Blue Devils, who are seeking their third Final Four appearance in the last six years. Alabama State was making just its second NCAA Tournament appearance.
Duke took the lead for good, 9-7, on a dunk by Shelden Williams 3:45 into the game. The basket started a 26-7 run, which included 10 points from Ewing.
"I didn't feel I had to be the offensive presence on the team," said Ewing, who was 6-of-11 from the field in 30 minutes. "I took what was given to me, had open looks, took my shot and just tried to make plays."
The Blue Devils took a 48-27 lead into the locker room. They scored the first 12 points of the second half for a 60-27 cushion with 17:39 left.
J.J. Redick had eight points during the 12-0 burst, showing signs of breaking out of his slump. One of the best shooters in the country, Redick was 9-of-41 from the floor in the previous six games before going 5-of-13 for 14 points in this one.
The opening minutes of the second half were especially pleasing to Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who thought his team was trying to do too much in the first 20 minutes of the contest.
"I think we were trying to conquer the world in the first half," he said. "You need to have fun, too. They have been under a lot of pressure all year and finally in the second half they settled down and played basketball."
Shavlik Randolph netted 20 points for the Blue Devils, who led by at least 31 points over the final 16 minutes.
Duke dominated every facet of the game, shooting 48.5 percent (32-of-66) to 39 percent (22-of-57) for Alabama State, holding a 46-31 advantage in rebounding, forcing 21 turnovers and amassing 19 assists.
"Duke did what they needed to do," Alabama State coach Rob Spivery said. "They pressured us and forced turnovers and made their shots."
Campbell was the only player in double figures for the Hornets, the lightly regarded Southwestern Athletic Conference champions who fell to 0-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. Still, they weren't intimidated.
"They were a much larger team physically," said reserve forward Xavier Oliver, who had eight points and eight boards. "But as far as being intimidated because of them being Duke, no."
In the second round Saturday, the Blue Devils play eighth seed Seton Hall at the RBC Center, which is just 20 miles from campus.