Duke Erupts In Second Half, Beats Binghamton
March 19, 2009
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -Jon Scheyer and Duke weren't about to let another one of college basketball's little guys scare them again.
Scheyer scored 15 points to lead six players in double figures, and the Blue Devils made Binghamton's first appearance in the NCAA tournament a quick one by routing the Bearcats 86-62 Thursday night in the first round of the East Regional.
Lance Thomas added 14 points and Gerald Henderson and Nolan Smith added 13 apiece for the Blue Devils (29-6), the No. 2 seed. They shot 49 percent, put the game away with a huge run to open the second half and advanced to a second-round matchup with seventh-seeded Texas on Saturday.
D.J. Rivera scored 20 points for Binghamton (23-9). The program from upstate New York that jumped to Division I in 2001 and won the America East tournament ultimately was no match for one of the NCAA's most decorated programs.
Elliot Williams had 11 points and Kyle Singler added 10 to help the Blue Devils claim their most lopsided NCAA tournament victory since a 28-point rout of Seton Hall in the second round in 2004.
It was quite the emphatic reversal of results for a program that entered having lost three of its last four NCAA tournament games - and needed some dramatic play late to take care of 15th-seeded Belmont in the first round last year.
This one was never seriously in doubt, though the Bearcats managed to keep it respectable for most of the first half, trailing 45-34 at the break.
Then came the reality check.
The efficient Duke offense that lit up Florida State for a season-high 12 3-pointers in the ACC tournament championship game re-emerged. The Blue Devils came away with points on seven consecutive trips downcourt to key the 17-2 run that pushed their lead to 20 for the first time, a decisive burst that ended when Thomas' dunk with 14:46 remaining made it 62-36.
That dominating stretch silenced even the few hundred North Carolina fans who stuck around to razz their main rival.
Tiki Mayben scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half and Reggie Fuller added 12 points for the Bearcats, whose 11-game winning streak was snapped.
There wasn't much to pick apart from Duke's fourth straight victory, aside from allowing Binghamton to shoot 53 percent. The Blue Devils offset that by turning the Bearcats' many mistakes into easy baskets, got to the free-throw line - and even dominated the boards for a change.
Duke scored 24 points off Binghamton's 18 turnovers, was 21-of-25 from the stripe and established a 38-20 rebounding advantage. Meanwhile, the Bearcats spent much of the night in foul trouble and were just 1-of-5 from the line.
Almost from the opening tip, the chasm between the two programs was obvious.
Duke outscored the Bearcats 25-8 during an 8-minute stretch midway through the half, a spurt that ended with Binghamton coach Kevin Broadus being whistled for a technical foul for his loud objection to a non-call in the paint. Smith's ensuing free throw pushed the lead to 27-12 with 9:07 before the break.
But Binghamton - which was held to one field goal during a 7-minute span - crept back into the game from the 3-point line. Mayben knocked down two 3s over Thomas and Malik Alvin's long-range jumper made it 37-31 with 3 1/2 minutes left - but that was as close as they'd get.