Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Blue Devils Rebound from Lodd to Terps Not Even Flu Can Slow Duke

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Blue Devils Rebound from Lodd to Terps Not Even Flu Can Slow Duke

Article excerpt

Rising: Duke. Since suffering their first ACC loss since the 1997-98 season at Cameron Indoor Stadium against Maryland (98-87, Feb. 9), which snapped their 46-game home winning streak, the Blue Devils have hammered Georgia Tech (84-65) and Florida State (101-68).

Duke (20-3, 11-1) looked every bit the part of the nation's No. 3 team in beginning a new home streak Wednesday against the Seminoles.

The Blue Devils made the opposition look sick, despite the fact that Jason Williams, Carlos Boozer, Shane Battier and Mike Dunleavy were slowed by the flu. Williams led the charge with 19 points, while Boozer (17) and Battier (13) contributed more than their share.

The Blue Devils shot 58 percent from the floor, making 12-of-18 3-point attempts and turning 21 FSU turnovers into 29 points.

With a three-game lead over its nearest ACC competitor -- with four games to play -- Duke can clinch a share of its record-tying fourth regular-season title with a win over N.C. State tomorrow in Raleigh.

FALLING -- North Carolina State: The Wolfpack (15-8, 5-7) has been free-falling since opening the month locked in a battle for second place in the ACC.

Herb Sendek's club has lost four in a row following Tuesday night's 71-53 setback at listless Wake Forest.

Barring a miraculous turnaround, State is headed in the direction of a fourth consecutive NIT appearance.

That's particularly disappointing, considering the 'Pack opened the season 10-1 and were 15-4 following its Feb. 2 win over FSU.

At that point, State appeared to be a lock for its first NCAA Tournament trip since 1991.

Despite a brilliant 14-1 record at the new Entertainment and Sports Arena, State has dropped nine consecutive ACC road games. Sendek's club plays two of its final four games at home, but one of those is against league-leading Duke (tomorrow).

State's recent slide coincides with starting C Ron Kelley's knee injury, which required surgery. The 'Pack is 1-4 without Kelley as replacement Damon Thornton has struggled to stay out of foul trouble.

WHO'S HOT -- Jason Williams: Duke's fabulous freshman point guard is beginning to assert himself as the Blue Devils' floor leader at both ends. …

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