BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP)—Mike Krzyzewski needed J.J. Redick to do even more than usual.
With Shelden Williams and Josh McRoberts in foul trouble, Indiana’s Marco Killingsworth dominating the middle and the game starting to slip away, Krzyzewski went to his toughest player and watched him dismantle Indiana’s defense.
Redick scored 29 points, including six during a critical late stretch, as No. 1 Duke held off the 17th-ranked Hoosiers 75-67 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday night.
“The will to win, I mean that one drive he had for the three-point play that, whoosh! He just willed that sucker in,” Krzyzewski said. “I’m glad he’s on my bus or I’m on his bus or whatever.”
For Redick, it was just a typical game. He shot 10-for-17, including four 3s, had five assists and four rebounds. Uncharacteristically, the Blue Devils (6-0) needed every one of his plays against Killingsworth—and a hostile Indiana crowd—to stay perfect.
Killingsworth, a fifth-year senior who transferred from Auburn, was virtually unstoppable inside. He scored a career-high 34 points in 34 minutes, was 15-of-20 from the field, had 10 rebounds, two blocks and single-handedly got the Blue Devils’ two top interior players—Williams and McRoberts—into foul trouble early in the second half. He even hit a 3-pointer during an 11-0 run that gave Indiana its first lead of the game at 59-58.
The difference was, Redick had more help.
Williams finished with 13 points and nine rebounds, while Greg Paulus added 13 points and Lee Melchionni had 12 in a reserve role.
The only other Indiana player in double figures was Marshall Strickland with 11 as the Blue Devils tried to keep the Hoosiers (3-1) from shooting 3s. Indiana played without starting forward D.J. White, last year’s Big Ten freshman of the year, who is out with a broken left foot.
“Our game plan is to go inside anyway, so if they’re going to let Marco score 40 or 50, he’ll score 40 or 50,” Indiana coach Mike Davis said.
The atmosphere was wild.
Indiana students painted their faces and bodies, bounced up and down like the Cameron Crazies and turned Assembly Hall, at the urging of the athletic department, into a sea of white rather than its usual red.
Celebrities ranging from Jerry West to Edgerrin James attended. Colts president Bill Polian was there, too.
And the crowd was primed for an upset. Chants began more than 20 minutes before tip-off and one sign read “No White, No Knight, No Problem,” a reference to Indiana’s injured forward and the Hoosiers’ former coach.
But the Hoosiers, some of whom Davis said couldn’t sleep Tuesday night, were too tight. They threw the ball away four times in the first 3:09 and had to rally from a 16-2 deficit.
“For us to come out the way we did tonight, I was disappointed in that,” Davis said. “But I was not disappointed in our effort for the final 35 minutes.”
The noise also seemed rattle Duke several times, and Krzyzewski called it the loudest environment he’d experienced, aside from Cameron Indoor Stadium, when Indiana took the lead with 7:43 to go on Killingsworth’s one-handed dunk.
“Wow! What a great game,” he said. “What an amazing atmosphere. A lot of teams will lose at that point, but I thought our kids were stronger.”
It almost didn’t turn out the way Krzyzewski expected.
The frantic pace got Duke into foul trouble and the Blue Devils committed 19 turnovers.
Indiana capitalized in the second half when it charged back from a 44-35 halftime deficit to take the lead.
Then Duke went to Redick. He set up Williams for three straight baskets, then finished the 9-4 run with a 3-pointer that made it 67-63 with 4:43 left.
After Strickland hit two free throws for the Hoosiers, Redick drove in for a nifty layup, faking out one Indiana defender, and hit a free throw to give the Blue Devils control with a 70-65 lead.
The Blue Devils sealed the victory by shooting 5-for-6 from the line in the last 43 seconds.
“J.J. just refuses to lose,” Krzyzewski said. “He’s one of the amazing players to play at Duke. That kid is really tough.”
Duke was the first nonconference team to come to Assembly Hall with the No. 1 rank and avoided a second straight upset to the Hoosiers. Indiana won the last meeting in the 2002 NCAA regional semifinals when Duke also was ranked No. 1.