No. 5 Duke beats VCU 67-58 at Battle 4 Atlantis
By JIM O'CONNELL
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) Duke turned to a couple of big men to handle VCU's pressure defense, and Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski couldn't be prouder.
Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly, the two biggest players in No. 5 Duke's rotation at 6-foot-10 and 6-11, became the valves to make sure things didn't get to be too much for the guards in facing the Rams' "havoc" defense.
"These guys played with so much poise, two turnovers total between them," Krzyzewski said. "I am most proud of how they handled players who were quicker and again, they showed that poise."
Plumlee had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead Duke to a 67-58 victory over the Rams on Friday night In the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Plumlee, who had 20 points and 17 rebounds in the opening-round win over Minnesota, brought the ball across midcourt several times in each half. Kelly inbounded the ball whenever the VCU scored, the only time the Rams set up the fullcourt pressure.
"I felt I was holding my own," Kelly said.
"More than that," Krzyzewski added.
Both teams played good defense and made it tough to score. Both teams combined four field goals over the final 8 minutes and half of those came in the final 17 seconds.
"They're really good, not good, really good," Krzyzewski said about VCU. "They play tough defense full court and in the halfcourt. They have a lot of pieces. We were strong with the ball. 'There were no possessions off for any team."
The Blue Devils (5-0) will meet No. 2 Louisville in the championship game Saturday night. The Cardinals beat No. 13 Missouri 84-61.
All five Duke starters scored at least nine points and they accounted for all but three of the Blue Devils' total. On Thursday the starters accounted for all but two points.
Seth Curry had 15 points for Duke and was 9 of 10 from the free throw line, where the Blue Devils finished 24 for 27.
The Rams (3-2), who beat No. 19 Memphis 78-65 in the first round, hurt themselves at the line, going 12 for 19. The seven misses all came in a row from the 7:55 mark until there was 2:23 remaining. Two of the misses were the front end of 1-and-1s.
"We had the guys we wanted at the free throw line, our best free throw shooters," Rams coach Shaka Smart said. "This game wasn't lost with missed free throws. We weren't disciplined enough with our pressure.
"Plumlee and Kelly were good breaking the pressure. They came back and handled the ball. Give Duke credit for preparing for the pressure and executing."
Both Reddic and Graham said it was a physical game.
"We knew that coming in that it was going to be that type of game," Reddic said.
Duke held a 44-32 lead with 15:45 remaining but Graham and Reddic combined for 14 points to get the Rams within 54-50 with 9:20 to play.
Both teams struggled to score the rest of the way but Duke closed the game by making all eight free throws and adding Plumlee's power dunk with 17 seconds to play.
Rasheed Sulaimon had 12 points for Duke, while Ryan Kelly added 11 and Quinn Cook had nine points and nine assists.
"I thought Quinn has played two terrific games here," Krzyzewski said.
Duke withstood VCU's pressure, committing just eight turnovers and the Blue Devils outrebounded the Rams 41-34.
"Our pressure was good in spurts," VCU's Darius Theus said. "But against a great team you have to do it for 40 minutes."
Updated November 24, 2012
In the latest edition of the "It Is What It Is" podcast, Chris Price and CSNNE's Mike Giardi take a look at the Patriots offseason on both sides of the ball, try and get a handle on which new guys will make an impact first, and whether or not the Patriots have altered their style when it comes to drafting and developing wide receivers.
Mike Florio joined the program to discuss the Jets decision to release Tim Tebow, he said the situation is as disaster all around for the Jets and that the problems begins with owner Woody Johnson. Mike also said that he was disappointed with the Pats moving back in the first round.
One of the hardest working men in the biz, Mike Petraglia aka "Trags", sits down with Butch Stearns live in Foxborough to help break down all the latest Pats moves. He discusses his reaction to the trade in Round 1 and the guys those picks produced. Also, the boys talk about the decent trade the Pats made in acquiring LeGarrette Blount from Tampa Bay for Jeff Demps and a 7th rounder.
We check in with Danny Ainge for our first talk to him since the Celtics season ended last weekend. We talk about the future of the team, KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and more, as Danny directly answers the rumors being floated by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
Jackie Mac joins the show to discuss the trade rumors swirling around Paul Pierce, KG, Doc Rivers and the Celtics. She also discusses the future of the Celtics head coach.
Stephen A. joined the program to discuss the trade rumors he has reported regarding a possible trade including Doc Rivers and the Clippers. Stephen A. also told the guys that he has heard that Danny and Doc may be tiring of working together.
Joe Castiglione talked with John Lackey after he picked up the W against the Twins. Lackey threw seven innings, and retired the 1st twelve batters of the game.
Dave O'Brien talked to John Farrell before the end of the Twins series. The Sox skipper said that Big Papi's success is no surprise given his work ethic.
John Farrell postgame press conference
Dale and DJ roll on with their puck talk and chat some more about the goalie matchup in this series, as well as the lack of a quality power play for both of these teams. In fact, DJ says the Rangers are even worse on the PP than the B’s! The guys also get into the resurgence of Milan Lucic and his deceptive speed and grit. Dale and DJ talk about the similar styles of play for these teams and look forward to Game 2.
Dale and DJ get into the two coaches and their polar opposite styles and demeanor. Both teams play a similar style, but the coaches certainly convey their messages in a different way. Dale isn't buying the Tortorella hype and thinks he's a little overrated. DJ thinks he's a good coach, but isn't a fan of anti-media stance. The guys also talk about Jagr and how he has not lived up to the hype. They weren't expecting him to light it up or be the savior, but DJ says he wasn't prepared for just how slow the aging veteran is. Another big topic for B's fans this season is the play of Tyler Seguin and why he has yet to become the superstar everyone anticipates he will be. This leads to Claude Julien's style and if he does actually have something against the younger players. That Iginla trade shows its ugly head again as well.
WEEI.com's DJ Bean joins Dale in studio for Sports Sunday to discuss the Bruins playoff run. Game 2 is later today and the guys discuss the results of the first game of the series. They get into the construction of the lines for the B's and if they would make any changes. DJ has a few ideas for the lines today. The boys also discuss the two goalies - Tuukka vs Henrik Lundqvist and wonder why people automatically think the Rangers have the edge at goalie. Finally, they get into the legacy and the decisions of Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli.
Shawn joined the program to discuss another overtime win for the Bruins. When asked about Game 7 against Toronto, Thornton said that he would like to keep his specific comments in the dressing room private, but acknowledged that he encouraged Tyler Seguin to up his play and it paid off in overtime.
Barry joined the guys to help breakdown the Bruins overtime win last night in game one. Barry said that he has rarely seen a team dominate as much as the Bruins yet be forced to an overtime.
Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.
Bruins rookie defenseman Matt Bartkowski has emerged as one of the young stars of the team and he joins Mut and Tom Caron to discuss his role on the team, why he's confident, and the trade that almost sent him to Calgary.
Millar joins the show to discuss the recent Sox slide, Jacoby Ellsbury's lack of power, and hitting in the big leagues.
Andy Brickley joins the show to discuss the Bruins Game 1 win over the Rangers, the play of the three young Bruins defensemen, and the fatigue Jagr has shown on the ice.
We talk all things game one with Jack Edwards of NESN, and get to hear a little from Jack's Finnish protege as well.
We tackle four topics we haven't yet touched upon today.. Joe Thornton and disappointing former Boston athletes, parking in Boston, buying jersey numbers and more...
We talk about the report that Rob Gronkowski may now be a candidate for back surgery with a disc problem. Is Gronk just an injury prone guy? Or is he not rehabbing proberly? Can the Pats build an offense around a guy who is so inconsistently on the field? We discuss.
The Bruins have almost finished raking the Leafs, the Red Sox struggle from the mound, Miami Heat fans show their level of class.
Daily Planet Wednesday May 8th
Today on the Daily Planet the Bruins take a 2-1 series lead, the Red Sox get a run-off win, and we hear about cannibals and bible thieves.
Sounds like a prostate exam to me!
Damn New Yorkers!
Sauce Man stylings!
Linda explains how the shootout transpired in Watertown during the early morning hours. She saw the first suspect mortally wounded and police beginning the manhunt for the second suspect.More from this show
We check in with Danny Ainge for our first talk to him since the Celtics season ended last weekend. We talk about the future of the team, KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and more, as Danny directly answers the rumors being floated by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.More from this show
Buster Olney joins the show to discuss the muddled AL East, the average play of Ellsbury and how that will affect him in free agency, and Tropicana Field.More from this show
Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.More from this show