ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is not
concerned about the Blue Devils' slow starts as long as he keeps
getting the same results.
No. 2 Duke couldn't pull away from Liberty in the first half,
but shot 59 percent in the second half to rout the Flames 76-47 in
the semifinals of the Great Alaska Shootout.Duke (3-0) also started slowly against Detroit in its season
opener and Pacific in the first round of the tournament."Those are good struggles to have," Krzyzewski said. "We're
not a well-oiled machine yet. We're a very much developing team."Duke shot just 31 percent in the first half and turned the ball
over 10 times but harassed the Flames (1-3) into 14 turnovers and
blocked five shots."The constant throughout was that we played well defensively,"
Krzyzewski said of Duke's first three games."We have to learn how to be a good half-court team and
complement that with our fast break," he said.Duke shot just 31 percent the first half. Chris Duhon, who
finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, said his teammates
badly wanted to win and may have tried to do too much."We just got to tell those guys to keep shooting with
confidence," he said.Jason Sarchet's 11 points helped Liberty stay close in the first
half, but the Flames shot just 26 percent.Liberty led 14-13 until J.J. Redick hit a 3-pointer at 10:36.
That started a 7-0 run for the Blue Devils. But despite making just
two field goals over the final 11 minutes, the Flames trailed only
27-20 at the half.Daniel Ewing and Duhon started the second half with consecutive
layups and the rout was on. The Blue Devils limited Liberty to just
13 second-half points until less than five minutes remained.The Blue Devils forced eight more turnovers and blocked two more
shots."We were putting really good pressure on the ball," Krzyzewski
said.Ewing led Duke with 13 points and Luol Deng had 11.Sarchet finished with 16 points and five rebounds for Liberty.
Gabe Martin added 14 points, including 12 in the second half.Sarchet said the Flames' performance in the first half gives
them confidence for the rest of the season."We know we can compete with anybody," he said.Duke was scheduled to face Purdue in the finals Saturday and
Liberty was to play Seton Hall for third place.