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March 10, 2006

Redick leads Duke past Miami

Box score

GREENSBORO, N.C. - J.J. Redick snapped out of a shooting slump in time to give No. 3 Duke another Atlantic Coast Conference tournament victory.

The second-leading scorer in Division I had 25 points and made a clutch jumper in the final minute, Shelden Williams had his sixth straight double-double and the Blue Devils held off Miami 80-76 Friday in the quarterfinals.

Williams finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while DeMarcus Nelson also scored 14 points for top-seeded Duke (28-3), which desperately needed a victory after losing their final two games of the regular season. They finally put away the Hurricanes (16-15) in a thrilling game that featured 17 ties and 22 lead changes.

The Blue Devils improved to 24-1 in this event since 1999, and they move on to the semifinals to face the winner of the Wake Forest-North Carolina State matchup.

Guillermo Diaz and Anthony King each had 16 points for Miami, and teammate Robert Hite scored 15.

Diaz drove around Josh McRoberts for a layup with about 2 minutes remaining to make it 72-all, the final tie of the game. On the other end, Williams was fouled and made both shots at the line to give Duke the lead for good.

Raymond Hicks converted one of two free throws to bring the Hurricanes within one, and after Nelson missed a 3-pointer, the ball went out of bounds off Hite. Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski called a timeout to set up a play for Redick, and he came through as he has most of the season.

He took Diaz off the dribble and pulled up from a couple of steps inside the 3-point line, and his shot swished through for a three-point lead. Hite missed a long try for a tie, and the Hurricanes finally were out of chances. Now, they'll wait to see if their spirited effort was enough to secure an NIT bid.

Duke, on the other hand, remained in contention for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament by continuing its dominance in the ACC tournament. Despite winning it six of the past seven years, however, the Blue Devils hardly appeared to be the favorite coming in, with losses to Florida State and North Carolina spoiling their previously unbeaten conference record.

One of the reasons was Redick's uncharacteristically poor shooting. He was 23-for-80 over his previous four games, a horrid 29 percent, and he missed his first four shots Friday. He finally got on track with a 3, and finished 9-for-17 for the game.

It was the first time since Feb. 19 Redick made at least half his shots and, coincidentally, that effort also came against the Hurricanes. He finished with 30 points then - the fifth straight game with at least that total - before his slump down the stretch.

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