Seton Hall grabbed a 2-1 lead less than a minute into Wednesday night's contest with Duke. The Pirates wouldn't sniff the lead after that though, as Duke humiliated Seton Hall 93-40 to advance to the Final Four of the preseason NIT next week.
Mike Krzyzewski wanted his team to play with more emotion and fire than they showed Monday night against Boston University. It's safe to say the Devils answered the call.
Seton Hall went a nearly unbelievable 15 minute stretch without a field goal in the first half as Duke used unrelenting defensive pressure to force terrible shots and turnovers.
Meanwhile, the offense found its groove. Duke blistered the nets to the tune of 63.6 percent as the Devils executed nearly flawlessly in transition and knocked down open shots in the halfcourt.
Starting a lineup that included both Sean Dockery and Greg Paulus, Duke completely took a bigger Seton Hall team out of its game.
DeMarcus Nelson started the game on the bench but provided a huge spark when he did enter lineup. Nelson was dynamic on offense, racking up 16 points, two of which came on an eye popping one handed slam finish off a Dockery assist.
All of Duke's heralded freshman class put on a tremendous show. Paulus scored 12 points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting night. Eric Boateng and Jamal Boykin got their first action of the season and played well, combining for 10 points and 7 rebounds.
Martynas Pocius brought the crowd to its feet with some dazzling displays of athleticism, including one swoop to the basket for a score on a reverse layup.
Josh McRoberts was solid in his second game with another six point evening.
Duke dominated in every phase of the game, including a 41-27 rebounding edge to erase the bad taste of being outrebounded by Boston University Monday night.
Duke's defense, which was excellent after a slow start Monday night, was smothering for 40 minutes against Seton Hall.
Though the Pirates managed to turn the ball a reasonable 17 times, they simply could not get good looks at the basket, as the Devils held them to an ice cold 24.1 percent mark from the floor.
J.J. Redick rediscovered the touch from three point range after not connecting from downtown Monday night. The senior sharpshooter hit four triples against Seton Hall, all of which came in the game's first 15 minutes as the Devils buried the Pirates early. Redick totaled 18 points for the second consecutive outing.
Duke advances to Madison Square Garden in New York to face either Sam Houston State or Drexel. That game will be next Wednesday night.
Devils Illustrated will have more on Wednesday's 93-40 victory.