Duke Falls To LSU In Regional Semifinal, 62-54
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information Release: 3/23/2006
ATLANTA - Shelden Williams dominated the paint, scoring 23 points, pulling down 13 rebounds and rejecting four shots, but it wasn't enough as No. 1 Duke fell to No. 18 LSU, 62-54 here at the Georgia Dome in the NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinal game.
Duke held an early 10-6 lead over the Tigers but fond themselves down nine points at 23-14 with five minutes left in the first half. Duke went on a 13-4 run to close the game to just a basket with a minute left and LSU held a four-point, 31-27 lead at the end of the first half.
The two teams played evenly for the first eight minutes of the second half as LSU held a 38-35 lead at the second media timeout. Duke then took control of the tempo and went on an 11-0 run sparked by a DeMarcus Nelson three and a pair of slam dunks from Josh McRoberts and one dunk from Williams.
LSU responded and with three minutes left it was a new game tied at 52 apiece. LSU outscored Duke 10-2 down the stretch with eight points coming at the free throw line to advance to the Regional Final. J.J. Redick hit two free throws with 38 seconds left to pull the game to within one at 55-54 but Duke missed a chance at a steal and gave the Tigers an easy dunk just four seconds later.
Duke was called for a foul on a loose ball with 25 seconds left and LSU hit just 3-of-6 free throws in the next six seconds but got all three offensive rebounds.
The loss closes out the career of seniors Sean Dockery, Patrick Johnson, Lee Melchionni, Ross Perkins, Redick and Williams. Redick and Williams go out as two of the most decorated players in Duke and ACC history.
Redick became one of just a handful of players to win back-to-back National Player of the Year awards while setting a new NCAA record for career three-pointers. He also set career ACC records for points and free throw percentage and came just six points shy of scoring more points in a season than any other ACC player while setting a new ACC season record for three-pointers.
Williams goes out as Duke's all-time leading rebounder and blocker and finished his career in the top 20 in NCAA history in both categories. He simply dominated in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 23.0 points, 15.0 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game in Duke's three contests. He held SEC player of the year Glen Davis to just 3-of-12 shooting and five rebounds in his final collegiate game.