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Monday's basketball: Williamson powers Duke past Notre Dame

By Anthony Anderson
Associated Press
Zion Williamson of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after scoring a basket and drawing a foul against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the second half Monday. No. 2 Duke won 83-61.

South Bend, Ind. — Zion Williamson flew unimpeded again.

For Notre Dame, there was no chance at grounding him. For Mike Krzyzewski, there’s no need to even think about grounding him.

“What do you mean ‘grounded’? So he doesn’t jump, or what?” the Duke coach said Monday night, repeating a reporter’s word used during a question about keeping the Blue Devils’ freshman sensation level-headed.

“The kid’s like one of the best kids in the whole world,” Krzyzewski said. “No way (his head is going to get too big). I mean, he is so good, is such a great kid.”

Williamson scored 26 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked four shots, and fellow freshmen RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish combined for another 30 points as No. 2 Duke rolled to an 83-61 victory over the Fighting Irish.

Williamson made 10 of 12 shots from the field for the Blue Devils, who were in control all the way.

Duke (18-2, 7-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its fourth straight game while sending Notre Dame (11-10, 1-7) to its sixth straight loss.

Barrett tallied 17 points for the Blue Devils to go with nine rebounds. Reddish had 13 points.

“Our guys, the two games in three days (with) travel, you never know what’s going to happen,” said Krzyzewski, whose club was coming off a 13-point home win Saturday over Georgia Tech, “but our guys really handled tonight well. Proud of them.”

John Mooney scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Irish. It was his seventh consecutive double-double, but he finished just 4 of 15 from the field.

Prentiss Hubb added 13 points, while T.J. Gibbs had 12 points and four steals, but they, too, struggled with their shots, going a combined 9 of 28.

“I told our guys I think we had the two best teams in the country roll through our building in the last (three) days,” said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, whose club lost 82-55 to No. 3 Virginia on Saturday.

“I like how we competed against this one tonight,” said Brey, who had expressed disappointment in the effort against the Cavaliers. “Let’s see if that can be a better habit for us. It’s kind of been a habit for us – it was just disappointing Saturday.”

Duke, which led by as many 24 points in the second half, was up 46-28 by halftime.

The Blue Devils roared to a 17-2 lead in the opening six minutes, with Williamson scoring nine points during the spree, and were up 26-7 by the time 10 minutes had elapsed.

Notre Dame trimmed its deficit under double digits just once, at 32-23. The Blue Devils’ immediate response to that was a 10-0 run over a span of 2:22.

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(At) No. 16 Texas Tech 84, TCU 65: Jarrett Culver scored 12 of his 18 points after halftime, including two punctuating dunks in the closing minutes, and Texas Tech snapped a three-game Big 12 losing streak with a win over TCU.

The Red Raiders (17-4, 5-3 Big 12) had their biggest lead after Tariq Owens blocked a shot that was rebounded by Davide Moretti, who worked the ball up the court before a lob pass to Culver for an emphatic slam that made it 80-60 with 3:16 left. Culver had another dunk after that.

Matt Mooney also had 18 points for Texas Tech, which lost three Big 12 games in a row before a win over Arkansas in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday night. Owens had 17 points while Moretti finished with 11 points and seven assists.

Kouat Noi had 16 points for TCU (15-5, 3-4).