CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Shelden Williams' performance made Duke's opening NCAA Tournament game more than just business as usual.
Williams scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as top-seeded Duke posted a 57-46 first-round victory over Delaware State in the Austin Region.
The Blue Devils (26-5) will play Mississippi State in the second round on Sunday. Duke has reached the regional semifinals in a national-best seven straight years.
"We have to move forward and move on to the next game," Williams said. "We need to work hard in practice tomorrow to prepare for Sunday's game."
The win allowed Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski to tie former North Carolina coach Dean Smith for most NCAA Tournament victories with 65, while passing former UTEP coach Don Haskins for 16th place all time with 720.
"I'm glad we won, whatever number it was," Krzyzewski said. "Each victory in the tournament is a treasured win because it's a great tournament. I know we beat an excellent, well-coached team. If you're Duke or Delaware State, you should never assume it's your birthright to get to this tournament."
Attempting to become the first No. 16 seed to win an NCAA Tournament contest, Delaware State took a 16-13 lead when Aaron Williams made a layup to cap a 13-1 run with 11:51 remaining in the first half.
With the score tied at 28-28, the Blue Devils closed the half with an 8-0 spurt in the final five minutes, highlighted by consecutive 3-pointers by Daniel Ewing and Lee Melchionni.
Duke kept up the pressure in the second half, holding Delaware State to one basket in its first 17 shots and going on a 12-2 run for a 49-32 advantage with 11 minutes to go.
"I thought tonight, our kids put forth a great effort," Delaware head coach Greg Jackson said. "We were concerned about our effort coming in and there's no question after this ballgame, we gave it our best shot. We showed a lot of patience and a lot of desire."
"We played against a team that's been playing and played great tonight," Krzyzewski said. "They used their strengths. Greg did a great job to prepare against us. They were able to do their mismatches better than us. They played a (heck) of a game."
The Blue Devils limited Delaware State to 18 points and 21 percent (6-of-28) shooting in the second half after the Hornets connected on 54 percent (13-of-24) in the opening 20 minutes.
"We pulled back our defense, top-of-the-key defense," Krzyzewski said. "That eliminated a lot of drives. It equalizes the opportunity to get a rebound once they're spaced out after we compacted our defense."
Ewing scored 12 points and Sean Dockery added eight for Duke in his first game after missing the last six with a torn MCL in his right knee.
"It was great to see Sean back out there," Duke guard J.J. Redick said. "He's a great player and a great teammate."
"The knee feels great," Dockery said. "It was just great to be out there again with my teammates."
Redick, who began the night averaging nearly 23 points, was held to a season-low seven on 1-of-7 shooting.
"They were switching on screens," Redick said. "I just didn't get many looks."
Tracey Worley scored 13 points while Troy Roundtree had 11 for Delaware State (19-14), the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champ, which failed in its bid to set a single-season school record for victories.
"This is something you remember the rest of your life," Aaron Williams said. "It feels good to be part of history and I think it opened some doors for the younger and new players for Delaware State."
"It's still a loss, but I think what these kids did tonight says a lot about our conference," Jackson said. "I think this game sent a message to the country that you have to deal with Delaware State University. I'm proud of my kids."