Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski jokingly had suggested he might use eight players at a time to stop Virginia and 7-foot-4 center Ralph Sampson.
The Blue Devils needed extra help today as third-ranked Virginia broke away early in the second half and coasted to a 77-65 Atlantic Coast Conference victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The taller Cavaliers controlled the boards from the outset, denying Duke an inside game. Forced to shoot from the perimeter, Duke made only 33 percent of its shots in the first half, 40 percent for the game. More than 14 minutes had been played before a Blue Devil dared to take the ball at Sampson.
But Virginia (20-1 overall and 6-1 in the ACC) had its problems. After leading, 20-8, with 7:20 left in the first half, the Cavaliers failed to score another point before intermission.
But Duke missed eight straight jumpers.
After leading only 20-13 at halftime, the Cavaliers came out looking for Sampson and 6-foot-8 power forward Craig Robinson.
Virginia outscored the Blue Devils, 18-5, at the outset of the second half. Within 5 1/2 minutes, Sampson had six of his game-high 23 points and Robinson had eight of his 14 as Virginia surged to a 38-18 lead.
From there, it was largely a matter of running out the clock. Duke (7-10, 2-5) came as close as 10 only once thereafter.
"I thought Sampson and Robinson did a very good job on the inside when we weren't shooting the ball well on the perimeter and I thought that was very important," Virginia Coach Terry Holland said.
Duke's big men totaled eight points inside.
Sampson, who played 28 minutes, had 11 rebounds, Robinson seven.
"It was a very frustrating afternoon for us because I thought we worked real hard," Krzyzewski said.
Vince Taylor, the ACC's leading scorer, 17 points before fouling out and Chip Engelland 15 before fouling out. Taylor, Engelland and Tom Emma, the heart of Duke's perimeter-oriented offense, missed 22 of 36 shots.