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College Basketball in the Carolinas

View from the East
Monday, January 21, 2002

By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News & Observer

Blue Devils Make Domination Look Easy


Duke played two games in less than 48 hours against ranked teams and won by a total of 44 points. When the Blue Devils were thought prone to vulnerability from a conditioning standpoint in the late stages against Wake Forest on Saturday, they switched to their reserve tanks and went on a 16-0 run.

“They have really good players and a really good coach,” said Wake coach Skip Prosser. “Usually when that happens, you end up having a really good team.”

After the 103-80 win over the Deacons, Duke guard Jason Williams said, “We’re emotionally and physically drained but it’s worth it.”

Williams’ backcourt running mate, Chris Duhon, said the Blue Devils approached the games with Maryland on Thursday night and Wake on Saturday afternoon as a Final Four situation.

“We handled it well,” concluded Duhon.

Duke has won by an average of 22 points since getting upset 78-77 at Florida State on Jan. 6.

“We’re having a really good time out there, playing together again,” said Mike Dunleavy, whose dad, a former NBA head coach, was among the Cameron Indoor Stadium crowd on Saturday. “This basketball team is really maturing.”

The Blue Devils get a bit of a break before continuing a span of four straight games against ranked teams with a visit to Boston College at 9 p.m. on Thursday (ESPN). Then it’s back home to host Virginia on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The focus on Tobacco Road this week will be on N.C. State’s game at struggling rival North Carolina at 9 p.m. on Wednesday. East Carolina will try to extend its Conference USA homecourt magic against DePaul at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Duke has a padlock on the top spot in the State Line Hoops Report©, which rates the 27 Division I programs in the Carolinas.

State Line Hoops Report© — 01/21/02


1. Duke ... The Blue Devils used offensive balance against Wake Forest as Jason Williams led the way with 23 points. Dahntay Jones added a season-high 22 points. Carlos Boozer’s effort included 20 points and a career-high 18 rebounds.

“Our whole team played well,” said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. “Carlos’ rebounding was certainly a key. ... It was a very efficient basketball game by both teams and then we hit our shots there at the end. The execution was really good at the end.”

Duke hit 54 percent from the field and had just eight turnovers. Duke has played 140 games as the nation’s No. 1 team under Krzyzewski and has won 125 of them.

2. Wake Forest ... The Deacons shot 56 percent in the first half at Duke, made just four turnovers and trailed 61-49 at the break. Wake rallied within 76-73 with 10:41 to go before Duke went on a decisive 16-0 tear.

“We played as hard as can be,” said Deacons coach Skip Prosser. “They just played better.”

Darius Songaila scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds and didn’t shoot a free throw despite playing in the low post against the physical Blue Devils. At one point in the first half, Wake had been called for 11 team fouls to three for the Blue Devils. The Deacons finished with 21 fouls to 16 for Duke. Wake hit just 3 of 16 behind the arc, compared to 11 of 25 for Duke.

Road losses to Virginia and Duke last week dropped Wake from No. 13 to No. 16 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll.

3. N.C. State ... Coach Herb Sendek got his 100th win with the Wolfpack as State rallied to beat Georgia Tech 84-71 on Saturday. The Yellow Jackets led 45-34 early in the second half.

“I thought our guys showed tremendous intestinal fortitude,” Sendek said. “And our crowd was absolutely fabulous. Our crowd wouldn’t let us lose today and I can’t tell you how good that made us feel.”

Anthony Grundy had 23 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals in a well-rounded effort.

4. Charlotte ... The 49ers trailed 72-65 at South Florida with 3:50 to play on Friday night but rallied for an 81-78 win. Senior Jobey Thomas led the scoring with 28 points as he hit 6 of 12 three-point attempts. Cam Stephens added 21 points as he made 10 of 15 field goal attempts. The Niners made 11 of 25 shots from behind the arc as they improved to 10-6 overall and 4-1 in Conference USA.

5. South Carolina ... The Gamecocks fell behind Vanderbilt 19-3 at home on Saturday night and went on to a 60-51 win. After USC had pulled within four points at the half, 23-19, the Commodores surged again as they opened the second half with a decisive 15-0 run. Coach David Odom’s club fell to 11-7 overall and 1-4 in the SEC despite coming back again to trail 50-45 with 3:29 left. Aaron Lucas had 20 points in the loss. USC had won three straight against Vandy.

6. College of Charleston ... The Cougars won their fourth straight, 63-55, at VMI on Saturday as Troy Wheless scored 19 points and had four assists. Wheless is hitting 46.9 percent of his three-point attempts. The Cougars are averaging 70.7 points per game while allowing an average of just 60.4. Coach John Kresse’s club faces a challenge at 7 p.m. tonight with a home game against The Citadel, a matchup of the top two teams in the Southern Conference’s South Division. C of C is 14-3 overall and 4-2 in the league.

7. UNC Wilmington ... Brett Blizzard’s 23 points paced the Seahawks’ 63-59 win over James Madison at Trask Coliseum on Saturday night.

“This was the most forceful Brett Blizzard has shown in his three years here at UNCW,” said Seahawks coach Jerry Wainwright. “He took the game over when we needed him to. His work ethic, his game knowledge, and his relentlessness are truly remarkable.”

Blizzard made 10 of 18 field goal attempts as UNCW improved to 11-6 overall and 6-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association. UNCW hosts Old Dominion at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

8. The Citadel ... Travis Cantrell scored 24 points in a 72-64 win over Chattanooga on Saturday as the Bulldogs won their third straight. Cantrell is leading The Citadel in scoring with a 17.8 average and is hitting 88.6 percent of his free throws. He’s averaging 3.0 assists but has struggled with his ball handling, averaging 2.9 turnovers per game. Cliff Washburn averages 10.6 points and a team high 7.1 rebounds for Coach Pat Dennis’ club, which is 13-4 on the season and 5-1 in the Southern Conference. Its league loss was at Wofford, 73-64 on Jan. 7.

9. UNC Greensboro ... The Spartans can’t afford to dwell on an 87-77 loss at Western Carolina on Saturday night, not with Davidson coming up for a 7 p.m. game on Wednesday. The Wildcats and UNCG are the top two teams in the North Division of the Southern Conference. Davidson leads the division with a 5-1 mark while the Spartans are 4-2. UNCG trailed Western Carolina 45-25 early in the second half but the Spartans came back to cut the lead to 59-52 with 10:47 to go. Courtney Eldridge scored a season-high 25 points and had four steals but despite his performance the Spartans had their winning streak halted at five games. Coach Fran McCaffery’s club is 11-6 overall.

10. Davidson ... The Wildcats will hope to maintain the momentum of a 73-66 home victory over East Tennessee State on Saturday night. Junior Chris Pearson scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Davidson won its fifth in a row. The streak has upped the Wildcats’ record to 12-5. Pearson made 12 of 17 field goal attempts in his second straight double-double.


11. Clemson

12. Gardner-Webb

13. North Carolina

14. Wofford

15. East Carolina ... The Pirates lost 85-72 at Saint Louis on Saturday in a much closer game than ECU’s 90-54 road loss to the Billikens last season. Coming off its first Conference USA win, 87-77 over Louisville on Jan. 16, the Pirates led 10-6 before Saint Louis went on a 17-0 run. Billikens junior guard Drew Diener had seven of his career-high 21 points in that flurry. It was Saint Louis’ defensive effort that got the attention of Pirates coach Bill Herrion.

“They’re aggressive,” Herrion said. “They contain the three-point line. ... By denying and really getting out on our wings, that disrupted our offense. We need to pass it, get it into our post and play inside out, but they took us out of that.”

Erroyl Bing had 16 points in the loss and Kenyatta Brown scored 14. Foul trouble limited Gabriel Mikulas to 16 minutes and he had just four points. Brandon Hawkins, who made all five of his field goal attempts against Louisville, sustained a thumb injury and didn’t score at Saint Louis, missing all three of his shots from the floor.

Bing leads ECU with a 15.7 scoring average, Mikulas is next at 12.5 and Brown is hitting 10.8 per game. Bing is also averaging a team high in rebounds with 8.7, including 3.6 on the offensive end. Freshman Moussa Badiane is blocking 4.4 shots per game and Travis Holcomb-Faye is averaging 4.0 assists.

The Pirates host DePaul on Wednesday and then go to Charlotte for a 3 p.m. game at Charlotte, an 84-75 winner in Greenville on Jan. 12.

16. Furman

17. Western Carolina

18. Winthrop

19. South Carolina State

20. UNC Asheville

21. Appalachian State

22. Elon

23. Campbell

24. Charleston Southern

25. High Point

26. Coastal Carolina

27. North Carolina A&T

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02/23/2007 12:58:24 AM

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