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February 25, 2006

Duke downs Temple 74-66

Temple forced a rugged style of play that the Owls preferred, but Duke managed a hard fought 74-66 victory on a record breaking afternoon in Philadelphia.

A season low 11 points for J.J. Redick was enough to surpass Wake Forest's Dickie Hemric to become the ACC's all time leading scorer.

As the second half played out, it became clear that Duke would have to fight to win the game just as hard as Redick had to fight against Temple's physical box-and-one halfcourt defense.

After a tight first half ended with a six point lead for Duke, it looked like Duke was on the verge of opening up some separation on the scoreboard early in the second half.

Josh McRoberts started the second twenty minutes with a slam to up the lead to eight, and it grew to 10 when Redick knocked home his first three pointer of the game on Duke's next possession.

The lead would go to 13 points on three separate occasions over the next seven minutes, and a Redick leaner in the lane pushed the advantage to 15 with 11:08 remaining in the contest.

This would not be an oridinary Duke blowout though.

Temple rallied, even with leading scorer Mardy Collins on the bench with a turned ankle for part of the momentum changing Owl run.

A three pointer from Antywane Robinson sliced the lead to 10 again at the 9:43 mark and Dustin Salisbery cut the margin to 61-54 with a three pointer about three minutes later.

Mike Krzyzewski called a timeout after Mark Tyndale's driving layup in transition trimmed the lead to 61-56.

That would be as close as Temple would get, as Duke responded out of the timeout with a 5-0 spurt to up the lead back to 10 as the game entered the final three minutes.

Redick cashed in on two attempts from the foul line with 1:28 remaining after being fouled on the perimeter as Temple had to up its aggressiveness facing a more sizeable deficit.

Those two free throws gave Redick the scoring record in front of several thousand Duke fans who helped balance the crowd.

With the box-and-one designed to force anybody but Redick to win the game, Duke got one of the most balanced efforts of the year from the supporting cast.

Shelden Williams did his normal All-American thing, putting up another double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds.

He wasn't alone in helping Duke not miss a beat despite the season low output from Redick.

Every member of the Blue Devil starting five scored in double figures to get another win.

Greg Paulus' 13 points were especially key, as he knocked down a trio of three pointers when Temple repeatedly left him unguarded on the perimeter.

DeMarcus Nelson had 12 points and McRoberts put in 10 of his own to round out the five double figure scorers on the day.

Collins was the driving force behind keeping Temple competitive.

He consistently used his 6-6 height to work his way into the lane and shoot medium range pull up jumpers. His 26 point effort came without a single three point shot and no free throws. He simply made 13 two point field goals.

Sean Dockery was good off the bench for Duke, though he only scored two points and was 0-for-3 from behind the three point line. He dished five key assists on the afternoon to keep Duke from ever getting too bogged down against the half court defense of the Owls.

The win moves Duke to 27-1 overall and set the Blue Devils up for their remaining two games, in which they can go 16-0 in ACC play for the second time in the last eight seasons.


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