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December 18, 2005

Balanced attack carries Duke over Valpo

Any concerns about Duke being rusty after an eight day layoff were removed when the Devils raced out of the gates with 20 points in the first four minutes on their way to a 104-77 triumph over visiting Valparaiso.

J.J. Redick again led the way, scoring 30 points in just 33 minutes of action on an ultra efficient game from the field.

Redick canned a three on Duke's first possession, setting the tone for a game where he averaged two points each time he shot the ball, going 9-15 from the field and hitting 5-of-9 from three point range.

Redick had plenty of help on this night, most notably from freshman point guard Greg Paulus, who turned in his best statistical game of the season.

Paulus racked up 15 assists, falling one short of the Duke school record held by Bobby Hurley. Paulus' assists ranged from the pedestrian to the spectacular.

Paulus snapped a quick no look one hander to Martynas Pocius on a first half transition opportunity for a layup. Josh McRoberts benefited from another great Paulus dish when Paulus threaded a needle from the top of the key to a cutting McRoberts for a dunk and a foul.

Duke's four senior captains all finished in double figures, giving the Devils one of their most balanced outputs of the season.

Shelden Williams racked up another double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds while Lee Melchionni and Sean Dockery posted 18 points and 14 points, respectively.

Dockery was all over the floor again, leading the team in steals with four and staying involved in several other defensive plays to continue his stellar play.

A high scoring first half sent Duke to the locker room with a 53-44 halftime advantage, but Duke was much more solid defensively in the second 20 minutes.

The Crusaders still managed to finish the game with a very respectable 48.5 percent shooting mark, but were only able to connect twice from three point range, far less than what they would need to stay competitive against Duke's firepower.

The Devils separated the game early in the second half, extending the lead to 20 when a Melchionni three pointer made it 71-51 at the 14:00 mark of the game.

Duke's bench, behind Melchionni's 18 points, tallied 30 points on the night. Jamal Boykin put in six points in eight minutes of play, while Pocius had four, and Eric Boateng got in the scorebook with two points.

Dan Oppland paced the Crusaders. The senior showed well on the national stage of Cameron Indoor Stadium with 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting.

Valpo also got 20 points from forward Ron Howard.

Duke moves to 10-0 on the year and will now get ready for a matchup with St. John's Wednesday night before getting another long layoff around Christmas.


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