Jan. 14, 2006
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CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – J.J. Redick scored 34 points and Shelden Williams added 17 points and 11 rebounds as No. 1 Duke beat Clemson for the 19th straight time, 87-77 on Saturday.
The Blue Devils (16-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) are off to their best start since the 1992 NCAA champions opened 17-0. And after losses Saturday by Georgia Tech and North Carolina, Duke is the ACC’s only unbeaten team.
Duke hasn’t lost to the Tigers (13-4, 2-2) since Rick Barnes was coaching them in 1997. But it took just about everything Redick had to keep the streak going.
The Blue Devils let an 11-point lead slip to 76-71 after Akin Akingbala’s short jumper with 1:56 left.
But Redick dribbled up the court and found a wide-open Sean Dockery for a layup and Clemson could not get any closer.
Redick, like many Duke players during the streak, has never lost to Clemson. He single-handedly kept the Blue Devils in this one in the first half with 17 points.
Redick’s first 3-pointer put Duke ahead 16-12. Two minutes later, he made two free throws for a 20-18. And, after Clemson rallied to go up 31-30, Redick hit another long-range shot and a layup to put Duke ahead once again.
Redick’s two free throws stretched Duke’s lead to 57-46 with 15:03 remaining. The Tigers used a 14-7 run over the next 5 minutes to get within 64-60.
Redick, though, was there to answer. He scored six of Duke’s next eight points to restore the comfortable lead.
Williams started the run with a slam, then Redick hit two free throws. He drove the right baseline for a basket on Duke’s next possession and finished the spurt with a layup.
Williams followed up a triple-double in his last game against Maryland (19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks) with his eighth game in double figure points and rebounds.
Vernon Hamilton led Clemson with a career-high 31 points. His total surpassed his previous best of 21, set this past Wednesday in a 74-73 overtime win against Wake Forest.
The Tigers had ended a five-game losing streak to the Demon Deacons in that one and hoped to put aside their much-longer string of futility against the Blue Devils.
Instead, Redick and his teammates made sure Duke’s mastery lasted a bit longer.
Redick was just 3-of-6 from the line – including missing two on one trip – in the first half. He finished 12-of-16 from the line, the first time he had more than two misses in a game this season.
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