Jones, Okafor Help Earned Krzyzewski His 1,000th Career Win
NEW YORK (Sporting Alert) — Tyus Jones led four Duke players into double-digit scoring and the No. 5 Blue Devils defeated St. John’s 77-68 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday to earned Mike Krzyzewski his 1,000th career win.
Sunday’s achievement saw coach Krzyzewski, who was acknowledged by the large group that chanted his name in the stands — becoming the first NCAA Division I men’s coach to reach the 1K milestone.
He who now joins former Tennessee Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt as the only coaches in men’s and women’s Division I basketball history with at least 1,000 career coaching wins to their name — was delighted with his accomplishments and admitted that it was a relief to finally get to that figure.
“I’m glad it’s over,” He said at his press conference. “Again, I’m honored, don’t get me wrong. I’m the lucky guy who’s been at two great institutions in West Point and Duke.
“I’ve had unbelievable support. I’ve never had a day in 40 years that I had to worry about my back, with my A.D., Superintendent, or President and not many people can say that.”
He added: “There will be others that win more, but it is kind of neat to be the first one to 1,000.
“I am proud of that, too: It’s not just the number of wins, but the quality of opponents we’ve had.”
Freshman point guard Jones led the way for Duke (17-2) with 22 points, six assists and four rebounds, while Jahlil Okafor added 17 points and 10 rebounds and Quinn Cook finished with 17 points and four boards in the victory.
Sir’Dominic Pointer paced St. John’s with 21 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks.
“We missed a lot of open shots,” a disappointed Pointer said after the defeat. “They gave up open shots and we didn’t connect on them.
“It’s just being able to get them to a teammate, get open shots.”
Rysheed Jordan had 18 points and Phil Greene IV finished with 12 in the defeat for the Big East club, which struggled in second half after going 1-of-12 shots from outside the paint.
“I thought we just missed some easy looks,” St. John’s coach Steve Lavin told reporters after the game.
“We came up short today, but I think you can also see the sneak preview of a team that could be very dangerous here if we continue to make progress.”
Duke jumped out to a 19-10 lead to start the game, but the Red Storm (13-6), led by Pointer and Jordan, fought back and went into the halftime break with a 43-39 lead.
However, the Blue Devils, who trailed 51-61 with 8:36 left on the clock, went on a run and outscored St. John’s 26-7 in the last eight-minutes to seal the win.
Duke, who is averaging 50.0-percent shooting from the floor this season, shot 48.1 percent (26-54) from the field and 36.8 percent (7-19) from three-point range on Sunday, while out-rebounding the Red Storm 44-29.
“It was beautiful, really, to see them fight today and win,” Krzyzewski said.
Lavin admitted that Duke’s dominance on the glass took the game away from his team.
“I think the biggest difference was they were able to get on the glass late – that was one of the keys for us,” he said.
“We’re not going to out rebound them, but I thought we could be competitive on the boards. It was just a high level game.
“Two teams that wanted to win and Duke made the decisive final run or final blow that we were not able to answer.”
St. John’s, who dropped two of the last three games and five of the last seven, will next face fell Big East side Creighton on the road on Wednesday night, while the Blue Devils will travel to face No. 8 Notre Dame on the same night.