Duke crushes Virginia

ACC leaders face Terps next

Staff WriterMarch 1, 2010 

Duke Virginia Basketball

Duke's Jon Scheyer shoots in front of Virginia's Sammy Zeglinski(13) during the game in Charlottesville, Va. Duke won 67-49.

ANDREW SHURTLEFF — Andrew Shurtleff - AP

— Senior forward Lance Thomas was so excited about what's coming up this week for Duke that he couldn't sit still as he talked about it Sunday night.

Thomas and the fifth-ranked Blue Devils had just crushed Virginia 67-49 at John Paul Jones Arena. Whether they intended it or not, Duke's players sent a message to Maryland heading into the biggest ACC game of the basketball season at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

If Maryland (21-7, 11-3 ACC) can win on its senior night, it will grab a share of first place in the ACC. Duke (25-4, 12-2) can clinch first place in the ACC for the first time since 2006 with a victory at Maryland.

None of the current Duke scholarship players has been on a team that finished first in the ACC standings.

"We need it," Thomas said. "We're in a position to take it. We're doing everything possible to get it. We're not holding anything back."

Maryland is coming off an epic 104-100, double-overtime win over Virginia Tech but will face the hottest team in the ACC. On a weekend when No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Kentucky and No. 3 Purdue lost, the Blue Devils gave themselves a chance to move up in the rankings with their eighth straight win - and their ninth ACC win in a row.

Junior forward Kyle Singler scored 15 of his 21 points in the first half Sunday as Duke grabbed a double-digit lead in the eighth minute. Jon Scheyer added 20 points, and Duke hammered a Virginia team that was missing its best player and hasn't won since Feb. 3 against N.C. State.

Virginia (14-13, 5-9 ACC) lost its seventh straight game and played without leading scorer Sylven Landesberg. A sophomore wing averaging 17.4 points per game, Landesberg suffered a thigh bruise Tuesday against Miami.

Senior center Jerome Meyinsse scored 21 points and made up for some of the lost offense. But Virginia forward Mike Scott appeared lost against a defense that held the Cavaliers to 31.4 percent shooting from the field.

Scott, averaging 12.8 points per game before Sunday, did not score and missed all six of his field-goal attempts.

"We wanted to make a point just to come out right away and set the tone," Scheyer said, "and we really did a great job of that."

With no offense from their top two scorers, the Cavaliers were no threat to a well-drilled Duke team. Singler scored 14 points in the first 13 minutes, and Duke scored 20 of the first 24 points.

Duke led 35-21 at halftime and stretched the lead to 42-22 after Scheyer made two 3-pointers early in the second half.

Afterward, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski declined to talk about whether the Blue Devils helped their chances for a No. 1 regional seed in the NCAA Tournament. That's a decision that's too far in the future for him to speculate on.

But Krzyzewski didn't shy from the immediate opportunity that's in front of his team. He said he likes Maryland's teamwork under coach Gary Williams and the way point guard Greivis Vasquez is leading the team.

Vasquez ranks second in the ACC in scoring after hitting for 41 points against Virginia Tech.

"The game Wednesday will be a big-time game," Krzyzewski said. "Plus it's their senior night, and Vasquez is playing lights out. They're just playing so well. They're the epitome of who Gary is. They're just so tough-minded and good."

So is Duke. Which is why Thomas was practically jumping out of his skin in anticipation of what should be his final game as a Blue Devil on an opponent's home floor.

"I hope you can see the urgency when I talk about it," Thomas said. "Whatever it takes to get it, I want to do it."

No. 5 Duke 67, Virginia 49

DUKE

Min

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

PF

PT

Singler

31

6-10

7-9

1-3

3

1

21

Thomas

24

2-5

0-0

1-3

1

2

4

Zoubek

14

0-0

0-0

0-4

0

4

0

Smith

28

1-8

3-4

0-2

2

1

5

Scheyer

33

8-14

0-0

0-3

3

1

20

MaPlumlee

18

3-5

0-0

0-4

2

0

6

Dawkins

19

2-4

0-0

0-2

2

1

5

MiPlumlee

21

1-3

1-2

0-5

0

5

3

Kelly

7

0-0

0-0

0-1

0

2

0

Davidson

3

0-0

1-2

0-0

0

0

1

Johnson

2

1-1

0-0

0-0

0

0

2

Totals

200

24-50

12-17

4-31

13

17

67

Percentages: FG .480, FT .706. Three-point goals: 7-18, .389 (Scheyer 4-7, Singler 2-5, Dawkins 1-3, Smith 0-3). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 4 (Zoubek, Ma.Plumlee, Mi.Plumlee, Singler). Turnovers: 8 (Mi.Plumlee 2, Zoubek, Singler, Dawkins, Ma.Plumlee, Scheyer, Smith). Steals: 8 (Scheyer 5, Smith, Mi.Plumlee, Johnson).

VIRGINIA

Min

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

PF

PT

Scott

12

0-6

0-0

1-1

0

0

0

Meyinsse

30

6-8

9-11

2-7

0

3

21

Baker

10

0-2

0-0

0-0

1

0

0

Zeglinski

33

2-9

1-1

0-3

2

2

6

Jones

20

0-3

0-0

0-0

0

2

0

Evans

24

1-3

3-4

0-1

1

2

5

Farrakhan

27

3-11

0-0

2-2

0

1

7

Sene

27

1-4

0-0

1-10

1

2

2

Jonke

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Sherrill

7

0-0

0-0

1-2

2

2

0

Spurlock

5

2-4

1-1

0-2

0

0

5

Tat

3

1-1

1-1

0-0

0

1

3

Totals

200

16-51

15-18

10-33

7

15

49

Percentages: FG .314, FT .833. Three-point goals: 2-12, .167 (Farrakhan 1-3, Zeglinski 1-6, Spurlock 0-1, Jones 0-1, Scott 0-1). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 4 (Sene 2, Evans, Meyinsse). Turnovers: 14 (Farrakhan 3, Scott 2, Sene 2, Spurlock, Zeglinski, Evans, Tat, Meyinsse, Baker, Jones). Steals: 6 (Evans 3, Spurlock 2, Jonke).

Duke

35

32

-

67

Virginia

21

28

-

49

Att.-13,663. Officials-Jamie Luckie, Sean Hull, Mike Eades.

ktysiac@charlotteobserver.com or 919-829-8942

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