Illinois bows to Duke

Saturday, March 27, 2004

ATLANTA -- Chris Duhon may be hurting, but he's doing just fine. So are the Duke Blue Devils.

Dragging himself off the floor time and time again, Duhon steered Duke into an all-too-familiar position -- one win from the Final Four -- with a 72-62 victory over Illinois in the Atlanta Regional semifinals Friday night.

Duhon attempted only one shot, but it didn't matter for Duke (30-5). The 6-foot-1 point guard dished out eight assists and kept sneaking inside for rebounds, winding up with a game-high 10. He also spent part of the night guarding Illinois' top scorer, Deron Williams, who managed just seven points on 3-of-13 shooting.

Top-seeded Duke pulled away from Illinois (29-6) in the second half and headed on to the regional final to meet No. 7 Xavier, which knocked off Texas 79-71 in the first game of the evening. The winner of that game gets a trip to the Final Four in San Antonio.

Luol Deng led the Blue Devils with 18 points, while J.J. Redick added 17 and Shelden Williams 14.

Xavier 79, Texas 71 Romain Sato scored 27 points and backcourt mate Lionel Chalmers added 14, helping the Musketeers beat Texas.

No. 7 seed Xavier (26-10) won for the 16th time in 17 games.

Brandon Mouton had 21 before fouling out for the Longhorns (25-8), who were trying to reach the Final Four for the second straight season. Brian Boddicker added 11, and P.J. Tucker finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

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