The first cry of "Newburg" rattled around University Hall with 12 minutes left in the first half today. Virginia's students traditionally cry for Doug Newburg, Coach Terry Holland's human victory cigar, when the Cavaliers have put a game out of reach.
Holland could have started Newburg today against overmatched Duke. Before eight minutes were gone, Virginia led, 26-5; from there, it was just a matter of going through the motions as the No. 3 Cavaliers (18-2, 7-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) walked to a 105-84 victory before 9,000.
The major reason for the early blowout was sophomore forward Tim Mullen. Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, burned by Ralph Sampson's 36 points in Virginia's 104-91 victory Dec. 8, decided to try a triangle-and-two defense, keying on Sampson and point guard Othell Wilson.
That meant Mullen was essentially unguarded. He responded with 20 of his 23 points in the first half, making three straight three-point shots. That was something of a shock to the Blue Devils, since Mullen was two of 13 from that range coming into the game.
"We thought they would try some kind of gimmick defense because of what Ralph did to them last time," Mullen said. "I was a little surprised to be that wide open but I understand what they were trying to do. I'm just glad I hit those shots because it made them change their defense and that opened it up for the other guys a little."
By the time Mullen finished, the other guys didn't need much opening. Duke (9-10, 2-5) is still as green as the left-field wall in Fenway Park--four freshmen start--and, said Krzyzewski, the early blitz left the Blue Devils shellshocked.
That Sampson scored only 10 points didn't matter. He played hard, getting 14 rebounds and taking away any semblance of an inside game for the Blue Devils. He was sagged on so much that forward Craig Robinson, who usually has difficulty making open layups, made all six shots from the field and finished with 16 points.
On the outside, Wilson, who has struggled much of this season, played superbly, scoring 21 points while holding Duke's leading scorer, Johnny Dawkins, to two points during the first 30 minutes. Dawkins finally got going when it didn't matter to finish with 12 points. Guards Chip Engelland (21 points) and Tom Emma (16) led the Blue Devils, whose front-line players combined to shoot a futile seven of 32 from the field.
"We just played great defense the whole game," Holland said. "I thought we played extremely well the first half to build the big lead, and then we stayed pretty intense, especially on defense, the rest of the way. We're playing well right now."
The Cavaliers didn't have to play well for long in this one. They led, 12-0, after four minutes, 18-3 after six and it was 26-5 when the cries for Newburg began. The largest margin was 86-54 with 10:24 left; Duke never got closer than 17 before the merciful conclusion.
"There's not much to say--we were wiped out," the forthright Krzyzewski said. "Give Virginia all the credit. They hit everything in sight the first 10 or 12 minutes."
After that it was just a matter of waiting for Newburg, a senior guard from Langley High School. The screaming fans finally got their wish with 2:58 to play, but the afternoon missed being perfect when he missed his only shot.
By the final buzzer, the students had changed their cry to: "We want Carolina," in reference to Thursday's semiannual Game of the Century against No. 1 North Carolina.
Sampson even smiled at that one. "We ain't going down there to lose," he said.