It was a coming out party for Derrick Williams in Arizona’s Sweet 16 destruction of Duke in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night. Sure, Williams has been dominating the Pac-10 all season, but there were still plenty who had heard the name, but not seen him play. For those people — and those who are already familiar with Williams — his showing on Thursday did not disappoint.
He ended the game with a career high 32 points. But it was the first half that was the highlight reel. It started with a monster put-back dunk, and ended with Williams scoring 25 points in 20 minutes, including five three-pointers. It was all Williams in the first half.
But in the second half, his supporting cast came out to play. SB Nation’s Arizona Desert Storm on the performance of the role players:
After scoring only 13 points in the first half, everyone not named D-Will came to play in the second half as the role players ultimately combined for 61 of Arizona’s 93 points.
Momo Jones nearly matched the play of Irving and Smith, leading a sprited second-half comeback and finishing with 16 points, six assists and zero turnovers against Duke’s constant ball pressure. Solomon Hill chipped in 13 points and five rebounds, while Kyle Fogg dropped eight points and Jamelle Horne and Kevin Parrom each chipped in with seven. […]
Arizona opened the half on a 9-2 run to cut the deficit to 48-47. Duke pushed its lead back to four with 15:55 on the clock, but the Wildcats hit stride from that point on, rattling off a 17-2 run to surge ahead 66-55. Five different Arizona players scored during the run, led by Jones’ six points.
From there, the Wildcats never looked back, en route to a 93-77 embarrassment of the defending National Champions. Arizona moves on to play UConn at 7:05 p.m. ET in the Elite Eight on Saturday.