Dec. 6, 1997

Norman Nolan
Norman Nolan scored 19 points in Cav's ACC opening loss (file photo).

Virginia Falls to Top-Ranked Duke.

DURHAM, NC - Trajan Langdon scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half as top-ranked Duke scored the first nine points of the game and never looked back in a 103-59 pounding of Virginia in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both schools.

Roshown McLeod added 11 of his 15 in the first half for the Blue Devils (8-0), who forced 22 first-half turnovers and took a 53-25 lead at halftime. Langdon finished 10-of-15 from the field.

Norman Nolan scored 19 points and Curtis Staples added 16 for Virginia (4-2), which had a four-game winning streak halted. The Cavaliers fell to 0-6 against Duke when the Blue Devils are ranked number one.

It was the worst loss in the Jeff Jones era for Virginia and its worst defeat since a 109-61 drubbing at the hands of Oklahoma in the Maui Invitational during the 1987-88 season.

Duke, which has won four straight over Virginia, holds an 89-45 lead in the all-time series. It was the largest victory in the series by the Blue Devils since a 136-72 pounding on February 11th, 1965.

"I was proud of our team," said Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski. "I was concerned with us being a little nervous coming into our first ACC game."

Virginia coach Jeff Jones; "I guess you can count me as one of the believers. They are a very, very, very good basketball team. The two areas that we highlighted as being keys, taking care of the ball and second chance opportunities, turned out to be the two that hurt us the most."

"I'm not sure our basketball team could do much about their shooting. They were hitting some tough shots and very deep shots. I'm not sure it made a lot of difference where we were."

"Their defensive pressure was very good and there is no let up when guys come off the bench offensively and defensively. I guess it's their own version of 40 minutes of Hell."

But it was Virginia which came out with the jitters. The Blue Devils raced to a 13-2 lead in the first 4:51 of the game as Langdon scored eight points and the defense forced eight turnovers.

While Virginia continued to struggle holding onto the ball, Nolan hit a baseline jumper to make it 24-14. Duke then took off on a 13-2 charge to put the game out of reach. Langdon hit a jumper before Elton Brand hit a free throw. McLeod had a steal and fed Mike Chappell for a dunk to make it 29-14 with 7:18 left.

Langdon hit another jumper before Chappell converted another feed from McLeod into a dunk that pushed the lead to 33-16. Nolan ended the drought with a dunk, but McLeod buried a three-pointer and Chris Burgess added a free throw to cap the run, giving Duke a 37-16 advantage at the 4:26 mark.

"Trajan, of course, was outstanding in the first half, offensively and defensively," Krzyzewski added.

Virginia came no closer than 22 points in the second half and the Blue Devils took their largest lead to close the game as Taymon Domzalski hit a layup with 4.8 seconds left.

Duke shot 51 percent (39-of-77) from the field and scored 34 points off 28 Virginia turnovers. Chappell finished with 11 points and William Avery 10 for the Blue Devils, who also scored 19 second-chance points on 17 offensive rebounds.

"We were surprised we had that many turnovers," Krzyzewski said. "It was just a good effort by our team. I just think we were lucky to have our tempo. That helped with the turnover situation."

Virginia shot 45 percent (25-of-55) from the floor and was outscored 16-5 at the foul line. Chase Metheney scored 12 points off the bench for the Cavaliers, who forced just eight turnovers.