NEW YORK – The Duke locker room was not a celebratory place at halftime with St. John's holding a four-point lead Sunday at Madison Square Garden. When the Red Storm extended its second-half advantage to 10, the Blue Devils looked to the sideline, where they saw their iconic coach on his knees urging them to fight harder, venting steam through every pore.
Told that his players said they fed off his example, Mike Krzyzewski laughed and said, "At halftime, I sent a text out to destroy all the books I've written on leadership, because they weren't working."
Whatever Krzyzewski did during the second half, it worked as it had 999 previous times. The No. 5 Blue Devils (17-2) regained control with a 26-7 finishing run on the way to a 77-68 win that made Krzyzewski the first Division I men's basketball coach to reach 1,000 victories.
Former Apple Valley standout Tyus Jones led Duke with 22 points and six assists. Jahlil Okafor added 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Quinn Cook had 17 points.
"There will be others who will win more," said Krzyzewski, whose 1,000-308 record includes four NCAA titles. "It's kind of neat to be the first one to 1,000. And the quality of competition we've had — over half our wins have been in the ACC or the NCAA tournament. So, I'm proud of that, too. It's not just the number of wins but the quality of opponents we've had."
Krzyzewski credited the defensive play of Marshall Plumlee and Matt Jones off the bench and his team's 44-29 rebounding advantage for turning the tide so suddenly.
"We played great in the last 10 minutes," Krzyzewski said. "I'm not sure I've ever been a part of a game like that.
"That's kind of nuts. I've been involved with 1,300 games, and to have one that's different is what makes the game so good.
"To do it here, to win the 1,000th, you've got to be a lucky guy. I like my place, Cameron, but this is a magical place . The Garden was magical today with fans of both schools. This place produces that, and we knew St. John's would have that."
The lively crowd of 19,812 included about 15-20 former Duke players as well as Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson from the New York Knicks; St. John's greats Chris Mullin, Lou Carnesecca and Felipe Lopez; and Nike boss Phil Knight.
Around 30 minutes before the opening tip, rising ticket prices ranged from $225 to $888 on stubhub.com — which also covered admission to the Iona-Niagara doubleheader finale.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.