WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Jason Williams wasn't at Duke when the Blue Devils won the first 22 games of their Atlantic Coast Conference-record 28 game regular-season winning streak.
But the freshman point guard excelled Saturday while Duke's veterans struggled, scoring 19 points to lead the Blue Devils (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 5 AP) to a 75-61 victory over Wake Forest.
"Jason Williams really had an amazing second half. He made really good decisions on the break, whether to shoot or whether to pass," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
Duke (15-2, 6-0) was ahead by two at halftime but shot only 34 percent and couldn't break Wake Forest's defense in the paint. Chris Carrawell, the team's leading scorer, only had seven points, and Shane Battier missed every attempt from the floor.
The Demon Deacons (11-7, 2-4) took their last lead at 39-38 when Niki Arinze grabbed a loose ball and made a fastbreak layup with 16:59 to go. Duke then took control of the tempo and went on a 9-4 run in which Williams had three field goals, the last a 3-pointer with 13:17 left.
Williams had five points, including a 3-pointer, in a 12-4 run that was capped by Mike Dunleavy's layup with 3:58 left that gave Duke a 66-52 lead.
"I just know I'm more capable of doing more. I think I am improving and becoming more comfortable on the court," Williams said. "I think I hunted my shot a little more today. The past few games I have been rushing things."
Only Carrawell, a senior, and Battier and Nate James, both juniors, were on the team when Duke's streak began. But the significance of the record was not lost on the new players.
"We wanted to be part of that success," freshman center Carlos Boozer said.
The Blue Devils last lost to an ACC opponent in the regular season on Feb. 5, 1998, to North Carolina. Duke's overtime win Wednesday over North Carolina State had tied the ACC record, which was set by the Wolfpack from 1972-75.
"I'm sure they will make light of it at this moment, but I can tell you as an opposing coach its quite an achievement," Wake Forest coach Dave Odom said.
The Deamon Deacons have lost five in a row to Duke.
The victory was Duke's 1,600th, and it joined Kentucky, North Carolina and Kansas as the only schools with that many.
Battier had 15 points for Duke while James added 13, Carrawell had 11 and Boozer 10.
Robert O'Kelley had 17 points for Wake Forest, which lost its third straight conference game.
The Demon Deacons started strong and used their size inside to deny Duke many chances in the paint. Wake Forest had a 7-0 lead just two minutes into the game.
But Duke used a 16-4 run to tie the game 18-18 on a 3-pointer by Williams with 9:21 left in the first half. Battier made two free throws late in the first half to give Duke a 33-31 lead.
|Wake Forest's Rafael Vidaurreta, left, and Duke's Matt Chistensen battle for a loose ball.||
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