DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA (TICKER) —Freshman J.J. Redick may be the best pure shooter in college basketball and his latest performance provided plenty of evidence.
Redick drained all 11 free throws for a season-high 34 points as top-ranked Duke remained the nation’s lone unbeaten team with a 104-93 victory over Virginia in Atlantic Coast Conference action.
Duke (12-0, 3-0 ACC) notched its 21st straight home victory and defeated Virginia for the 13th time in 15 meetings. The Blue Devils, who are 9-0 at home, visit defending national champion Maryland on Saturday.
It is the Blue Devils’ sixth 12-0 start under coach Mike Krzyzewski.
The game was more of a free-throw shooting contest as the teams combined for 78 attempts. Duke shot a season-high 92.5 percent (37-of-40) and the Cavaliers clicked at 71 percent (27-of-38).
“I’m proud of our guys because we beat a heck of a basketball team tonight in kind of a different game,” Krzyzewski said. “There was never a real flow to the game. There was a lot of fouling going on by both teams.”
Redick’s total was the most by a freshman for Duke under Krzyzewski, eclipsing Johnny Dawkins’ 31-point effort exactly 20 years ago at Maryland. Dawkins is currently an assistant to Krzyzewski.
“I was feeling it tonight,” Redick said. “In the first half, I felt like every time I touched the ball, if I got a look at it, it was going in. I knocked down a few in a row and when I get hot, that’s when my confidence just skyrockets.”
Virginia (10-4, 1-2) was within 90-87 after a pair of foul shots by Devin Smith with 4:44 remaining. Redick completed a three-point play 12 seconds later and added two free throws for an eight-point cushion with just under four minutes to go.
The Cavaliers got within 95-89 on a basket by Smith, but Travis Watson missed a pair of foul shots that would have cut the deficit to four with under three minutes to play.
Redick, a Virginia native, made 9-of-13 shots, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. Virginia tried an assortment of defenders on the freshman, who helped lead the parade to the foul line.
“I was excited about this game, simply because it was an ACC game, but it made it a little bit more special that I was going against my home state and two of my best friends in the world, Elton Brown and Jason Clark,” Redick said. “It made it very special.”
“The thing about J.J. is he has the maturity of a senior,” Krzyzewski said. “He has his feet under him. He understands the game. He’s such an easy kid to play with because he’ll pass the ball, too. He’s just found his niche the easiest of all our freshmen.”
Dahntay Jones made all 10 foul shots and scored a career-high 23 points. Freshman Shavlik Randolph netted 17 points off the bench for the Blue Devils, who converted 29-of-32 foul shots in the second half.
Randolph nailed a 3-pointer with 14:36 remaining to snap a 63-63 tie that gave Duke the lead for good. He added a pair of baskets around a hoop by Brown for a 70-65 edge with 13:19 to go.
“The main thing for me is just getting into the flow of the game,” Randolph said. “If I can get into the flow of the game, I think I can make good things happen. I was going through a slump for a while, but hopefully I worked my way out of it in the last game. I just want to continue to build on it.”
Virginia was also at the foul line repeatedly in the second half, converting 21-of-29 attempts. But the Cavaliers had a pair of players foul out and had eight players finish the game with at least three fouls.
Watson made 12-of-17 at the line and scored 26 points and Brown added 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Virginia shot 51 percent (31-of-61) for the game and lost for the eighth straight time at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Todd Billet scored 18 points and Keith Jenifer added 12 for Virginia, which fell to 1-3 on the road.
The first half featured only 17 foul shots and was an up-and-down affair, The Cavaliers led by as many as four points and a tip-in by Jones at the buzzer provided Duke a 50-45 lead.
“It was just one of those games where everything was just going right for both teams,” Duke point guard Chris Duhon said. “We did a great job of just holding them off and making the most plays to be victorious.”
Duke topped the 100-point plateau for the fifth time in Virginia’s last six visits to Durham.