Duke Dismantles Georgia Tech

Television personality Thom Filicia shoots some pool at the Chanel dinner held at the Bowery Hotel during the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on April 26, 2007.
Peter Kramer/Getty Images, Chanel
It was Shane Battier night at Duke and the senior forward didn't disappoint.

Battier had 16 points and keyed two key first-half runs Wednesday night as No. 4 Duke handed Georgia Tech its most lopsided loss in 29 years, 98-54.

Jason Williams added 25 points as Duke (24-3, 11-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) won for the 88th time in 89 games against unranked opponents, including 24 straight. The 44 points was Duke's largest margin of victory this season.

Georgia Tech (15-10, 7-7), which had won five of its last seven, had its worst loss since 118-73 to North Carolina on Feb. 12 1972. It was the Yellow Jackets worst loss since joining the ACC in 1979-80.

"I thought we played a game befitting of the kid who had his jersey retired," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "I thought it was one of our best games. At this point, we can't play much better than that."

Battier, who had his No. 31 jersey retired in a ceremony before the game, had a turnover on Duke's first possession and missed his first three shots, but ignited two key first-half runs.

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  • Battier had a steal that led to a dunk and a three-point play, followed by a long 3-pointer that capped a 14-0 run. That put the Blue Devils up 29-15 with 10:01 left in the first half as the crowd at Cameron Indoor Stadium bowed toward Battier.

    Battier started a 7-0 run to end the first half with a blocked shot that led to a 3-pointer by Chris Duhon. That sequence was part of a 20-5 run to close out the half as Duke built a 54-30 lead. Duhon ended the run with a steal and a three-point play with 18 seconds left.

    Battier also had seven rebounds, four assists, three stealand three blocked shots.

    "It was a lot more special than I thought it was going to be," said Battier, who had his parents on the court with him during the ceremony. "The ceremony itself was something I'll never forget. From here on out, they can't take it away from me."

    Georgia Tech, which has lost 10 straight to the Blue Devils, had 20 turnovers and made just 10 of 36 shots in the first half. Duke scored 35 points off turnovers in the first half.

    It got worse for the Yellow Jackets to start the second half.

    Georgia Tech had three turnovers and missed three shots in its first six possessions as Duke scored the first 13 points. Mike Dunleavy had consecutive 3-pointers during the run, the second making the score 61-30 and sending the crowd into a chant of "More than double." Dunleavy finished with 18 points.

    "Tonight was just a case of getting beat pretty solid by an excellent basketball team," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. "We just turned the ball over too much in the latter part of the first half. They are too good of a team to have 20 turnovers in the first half."

    Duke's Carlos Boozer and Casey Sanders combined to frustrate Georgia Tech center Alvin Jones all night. Jones, the Yellow Jackets leading scorer at 14.5 points per game, had five on 2-for-9 shooting and had four turnovers.

    "I thought our big guys did very well against him," said Krzyzewski, who earned his 200th regular-season ACC victory. "Alvin Jones has had a first-team All-ACC season, but we played him well tonight."

    Tony Akins led Georgia Tech with 19 points, but hit just 6 of 17 shots. He spent most of the first half talking trash to Williams, but was decidedly more quiet in the second half.

    Williams made 8 of 14 shots, including 4-for-9 from 3-point range, and had six assists. He has scored 20 or more points in 16 of 22 games.

    Georgia Tech had 29 turnovers - leading to 48 Duke points - and shot 27 percent.

    "They score too well and too efficiently on live ball turnovers - turnovers that happen at the top of the key or at half court - and you can't have those," Hewitt said. "I thought we did a pretty decent job guarding them when we were set, but we just had too many live-ball turnovers."

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