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December 10, 2005This was supposed to be the day where Duke's flaws caught up with the Blue Devils. Many observers thought this was the day that Duke's lack of perimeter quickness and interior depth resulted in a loss to the second ranked Texas Longhorns.
Well, think again.
Behind a remarkable 41 point performance from senior guard J.J. Redick, Duke dismantled Texas 97-66 at the Meadowlands Saturday afternoon.
Redick hit 9-of-16 three point attempts to lead a terrific offensive display by the Devils, who hit 12-of-22 three point shots as a team and shot nearly 53 percent from the floor in the blowout.
Texas took their first and only lead of the game when LaMarcus Aldridge connected a baseline turnaround jump shot to put the Longhorns ahead 6-4.
Redick responded with the first of his nine three pointers on Duke's following possession and the Blue Devils were off and running, never to trail again the contest.
The concerns for Duke fans entering the game centered around how the Devils would be able to contain Texas point guard Daniel Gibson's scoring and playmaking abilities alongside a very athletic lineup.
Gibson ended up being a non-factor, guarded all day by Duke senior Sean Dockery. The sophomore ended the day with a very quiet 13 points in large part because of Dockery's superb all around effort.
Dockery collected three steals on the afternoon, dished out four assists, managed a team leading seven rebounds and also contributed seven points.
Duke took a 45-33 lead into the locker room but saw that advantage whittled to five when Texas started the second half on a quick 9-2 run.
Mike Krzyzewski called a timeout to reorganize his team and the Blue Devils responded by blowing the Longhorns right out of Continental Airlines Arena.
Redick hit four of his long range bombs in the five minutes immediately following the timeout to help Duke space the lead out to 22 points at 66-44.
From that point on, Duke only continued to get stronger, building the lead steadily throughout the rest of the ballgame. The 31 point final margin of victory was the biggest lead of the game for the Devils.
Texas played most of the game shorthanded as senior forward Brad Buckman left the game with leg problems in the first half.
However, it's hard to imagine his presence making near enough difference in the lopsided affair.
The Devils even managed to top the Longhorns in the rebounding department, an area that on paper looked like a huge advantage for Texas.
Duke grabbed 31 boards to Texas' 30. It was a team effort on the glass for the Devils, as Dockery pulled seven rebounds from his guard position.
Shelden Williams had six, Josh McRoberts five, while Greg Paulus and Redick each came away with four.
Despite being overshadowed by Redick's explosion, Williams put together another fabulous performance, totaling 23 points, including a nearly flawless 9-of-10 performance at the free throw line to go along with five blocked shots on the defensive end.
The day will be remembered as a showcase game for Redick though, as Texas simply had no answer for his ability to work free without the ball and create his own shot with the ball.
The 40 minute display by the entire Duke offense is far and away its best performance of the season, as the Devils were lethally efficient, turning the ball over just seven times.
Aldridge led Texas with 21 points.
Duke moves to 9-0 on the season and will retain its number one ranking as the team now gets a week off for final exams before returning to action next Sunday night at home against Valparaiso.