Former Cheyenne Mountain stand out and Duke redshirt sophomore walk-on Steve Johnson, on his 21st birthday, scored his first career points on a basket while he was fouled with 40 seconds left. The hoop brought the entire Cameron Indoor crowd to their feet, including the Duke bench.
Johnson had only played 14 minutes in the last two seasons and had never attempted a shot until today.
Duke's grip on the No. 1 national ranking had been loosened by the weekend, but the Blue Devils made sure to keep their first-place positioning in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Blue Devils shredded visiting Virginia 79-54 on Sunday afternoon at Cameron Indoor Stadium in men's basketball.
"We knew it was real important to come out in this game and set the tone early," Duke guard Jon Scheyer said. "We needed to bounce back and really have a good game. We wanted to build on the momentum of the last 10 minutes of that game (at Wake Forest)."
Duke (19-2 overall, 6-1 ACC), which will likely lose the No. 1 national ranking when the poll comes out today because of Wednesday night's loss at Wake Forest, bolted to an early lead and was never challenged.
"I thought our intensity was excellent," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We did a really good job defensively in the first half and that kind of set the tone. We thought it was a dangerous game for us if we didn't attack defensively and get in some passing lanes."
The Blue Devils went through a defensive-emphasized practice a couple of days earlier and their performance had Virginia wobbling from the start.
"It's more just the feeling with our team," swingman Gerald Henderson said. "We lost the last game, we can't turn it into two."
Henderson scored 16 points of his 18 points in the first 12 minutes. Point guard Nolan Smith scored 15 points - one off his season high - on 7-for-10 shooting.
Duke led by as many as 22 points in the first half despite only one point from team scoring leader Kyle Singler. He finished with a season-low five points in 24 minutes.
The Blue Devils made 9 of 27 shots from 3-point range after hitting only 4 of 22 at Wake Forest.
Virginia (7-10, 1-5), coming off an eight-day break, lost its fifth game in a row and dropped its 13th consecutive game at this venue. The Cavaliers committed 17 of their 23 turnovers in the first half, exceeding their per-game average of 14.3.
"We didn't do anything different," Singler said. "I think they just got kind of overwhelmed and got sped up, which is what we wanted to do."
Freshman Sylven Landesberg scored 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting for Virginia, which fell to 1-27 all-time against No.1-ranked teams. He was saddled with two offensive fouls in the first four minutes.
"They made us play faster than we wanted to physically and by doing that they made us play faster than we wanted to mentally," Virginia coach Dave Leitao said.
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