Norfolk's Mark Williams dominates as Duke rolls to ACC quarters

Mark Williams, David Johnson
Posted at 10:02 PM, Mar 10, 2021

GREENSBORO, NC (AP) — Freshman Mark Williams, a Norfolk native who starred at Norfolk Academy, set season highs with 23 points and 19 rebounds for his second double-double, Matthew Hurt added 20 points, and No. 10 seed Duke eased by seventh-seeded Louisville 70-56 on Wednesday night to advance to the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

Williams is just the third Duke player over the last 25 seasons with at least 20 points and 15 rebounds in a conference tournament game, joining Marvin Bagley III and Shelden Williams, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Williams’ 19 rebounds were also the most by a freshman in ACC tournament history.

Duke opened the second half on its second sizable run of the game, scoring 17 of the first 22 points over a span of six minutes to extend its lead to 47-34. Jeremy Roach had two of the Blue Devils’ three 3-pointers during the stretch.

Louisville got within eight points three times in the final 10 minutes but could not get any closer as Williams took over the paint, scoring 10 of his points in the final 11:03.

Duke (13-11) plays No. 15 Florida State, the second-seed, on Thursday in their first matchup of the season after the Jan. 2 game was postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the Seminoles program.

Duke played Louisville twice in the regular season, losing twice as Williams did not play in the first meeting and Hurt’s career-high 37 points in the second game weren’t enough.

Roach, DJ Steward and Wendell Moore Jr. each added nine points for Duke, which didn’t have any bench points. Williams was 9 of 14 from the field and Hurt scored 20-plus for the 11th time this season.

David Johnson had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Louisville (13-7), and Carlik Jones added 13 points. Louisville started by making just 2-of-13 shots and finished the game at 30.6%.

Each team had a double-digit run in the first half, but both shot under 39% from the field.

Hurt had eight points in a first-round rout of Boston College on Tuesday, and he topped that on a three-point play with 5:36 left in the first half against the Cardinals to help spark a 12-0 run for a 27-13 lead.

Louisville scored the next 16 points — after its dry spell of five minutes, 11 seconds — with five points each from Jones and Johnson, and Hurt closed the first half-scoring to give Duke a 30-29 lead.