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Duke crushes San Diego State to reach Sweet 16

Mar 22, 2015 - 11:19 PM Charlotte, NC ( - Jahlil Okafor scored 26 points with six rebounds as top-seeded Duke crushed eight-seeded San Diego State, 68-49, in a third round matchup of the South Region of the NCAA Tournament.

Quinn Cook scored 15 points with five boards and Justise Winslow added 13 points, 12 boards and five assists for the Blue Devils (31-4), who downed Robert Morris in their first game of the tournament.

"Our guards, they were phenomenal tonight on both ends of the floor. They found me multiple times to give me easy opportunities to score and they were giving me all the confidence in the world," Okafor said.

Duke will travel to Houston for a Sweet 16 matchup on Friday against fifth- seeded Utah.

Winston Shepard scored 13 points and was the only player in double-digits for the Aztecs (27-9), who defeated St. John's in the second round on Friday.

"We got beat up tonight by a really good team," said San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher. "I thought when we fought back in the second half and cut it to seven, I think we had the ball twice with a chance, maybe, but they didn't let that happen. They're very good and they deserve a No. 1 seed and they played like one."

Duke scored the first eight points as it took San Diego State nearly five minutes to get on the board, and it was a 15-4 game with 13 1/2 to play after Cook hit a 3-pointer and a layup.

A layup from Okafor followed by an easy basket from Winslow gave the Blue Devils a 30-13 lead with just over four minutes remaining in the first half, and the team eventually took a 37-24 advantage into the break.

The Aztecs hung tough early in the second half and cut their deficit to eight when a 3-pointer from Malik Pope made it a 42-34 game with 14 1/2 minutes left.

Another 3-ball from Pope cut the Aztecs' deficit to 44-37, but Cook countered with a 3-pointer and Duke scored the next 11 points, with two free throws from Okafor making it a 55-37 game with just under eight minutes to play.

That run proved to be the back breaker, as the Blue Devils continued to add to their lead in the easy finish.

Game Notes

This was the second meeting between these two schools and Duke has won both ... Duke shot 54.5 percent from the floor and attempted just two free throws, both of which were made by Okafor ... San Diego State was 32.8 percent on its basket attempts ... Duke outscored San Diego State in the paint, 44-28.