NEW YORK -- Southern Illinois coach Chris Lowery warned his team before playing Duke that Gerald Henderson was due for a breakout performance.
Evidently, Lowery didn't remind his guys at halftime.
The Blue Devils' underappreciated forward scored all 20 of his points after the break, helping Duke (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) find some offensive rhythm in an 83-58 victory over the Salukis on Thursday night in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic.
"It was his time to have a big night," Lowery said. "He had monster dunks and played at the rim and got wide-open shots and hit wide-open 3s."
Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler each added 13 points for the Blue Devils (4-0), who overcame 15 first-half turnovers and advanced to play Michigan on Friday night for the championship of the tournament benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.
The Wolverines stunned No. 4 UCLA 55-52 in the other semifinal.
Carlton Fay had 17 points to lead Southern Illinois (2-1), which spent most of the game in foul trouble. Big man Nick Evans fouled out with 7:59 left, Tony Boyle was gone with just under seven minutes to go and the Blue Devils wound up shooting 47 free throws.
"We should shoot a good number of free throws if we don't turn the damn thing over, because we have fresh guys who like to drive and keep pretty good spacing," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
The Salukis made things much more difficult than the final score might indicate. They pulled to 55-47 with about 9½ minutes left before Singler hit a 3-pointer. A couple minutes later, Duke's stellar sophomore was fouled on a breakaway dunk and crashed to the floor in a heap.
A referee came from the other end of the court to call an intentional foul on Boyle, even though it appeared the Southern Illinois forward was going for the ball. After Singler made a pair of free throws, Henderson nailed a 3 from the wing to give Duke a 66-49 lead.
Henderson scored seven more in just a couple minutes, including a thunderous dunk that roused a late-arriving crowd and pushed the game out of reach.
"They play real aggressive defense, so you can't just run the play, because they're going to be there," said Henderson, who instead waited for skip passes over the defense and got a number of open looks. "I was fortunate to hit some shots."
The Salukis did their best to slow down the high-scoring Blue Devils, often pushing and grabbing them as they cut through the lane. A shoving match on an inbounds play early in the game resulted in double fouls, prompting Krzyzewski to yell at one referee: "That's how they want to play all game!"
Somebody must have paid attention. The Blue Devils spent the final nine minutes of the half parading to the free-throw line, where they had just as many tries (19) as field-goal attempts.
"That killed us," Lowery said. "We felt we had a good game plan going in, we just didn't expect to be in that kind of foul trouble."
Slow starts have become something of a trend for Duke, which fell behind by 12 early and trailed most of the way before squeaking by Rhode Island last Sunday. The Blue Devils went nearly seven minutes without a field goal in the first half of this one, finally going on a 13-3 run that helped them build a 29-23 lead at the break.
"We were really bad on offense in the first half. We had 17 turnovers and they weren't pressing us," Krzyzewski said. "They do a really good job on ball-screen defense and you have to keep your composure."
Nobody would have faulted Krzyzewski or Lowery if the cacophony of airballs, errant passes and overzealous fouls in the first half made them a bit nostalgic for 1993.
Well, Krzyzewski at least.
That was the last meeting between these two teams, when Duke routed Southern Illinois 105-70 in the first round of the NCAA tournament. At the time, Lowery was a young point guard for the Salukis, who couldn't keep up with Grant Hill, Bobby Hurley and the Blue Devils fresh off a national title.