Perfect first half propels Blue Devils to big win over Xavier

[private]Duke played it's best game of the season in a route to a 82-64 win over the seventh ranked Xavier Musketeers. It was a game where they put it all together on both ends of the court.  Be it stifling defense or the extra pass, these Blue Devils came to play.

"Our kids played a heck of a game. The defense was outstanding. We talked so well and had switches and we played off their five to clog up the lanes so we wouldn’t foul. They were averaging 35 free throws a game because they are so balanced and they are a really good team. Offensively,

Jon Scheyer - copyright bdnp
Jon Scheyer - copyright bdnp

we really executed well. Our two wings had fabulous games. (Jon) Scheyer and G were outstanding. Brian had four blocks and had some really nice passes. We played really well as a team and we beat a real good team. I am happy about our team coming off the exams. I thought the Asheville game really set us up for this because we had a great second half against Asheville," said an elated Krzyzewski.

The Devils play in the first half was pristine perfect as they had their way opening up a 22-3 lead before Xavier made a single field goal.  The run proved to be a knock out punch for Xavier never recovered and two late game threes made the margin look closer than the game actually was.

When asked of his teams first half play Krzyzewski stated,  "It’s one of those halves that’s unexpected against an outstanding team. We were very well prepared. Our team mentally took a step up, I could feel it. They prepared so well these last two days. I knew we were going to play well, I didn’t know we were going to win because they are a good team. We played great. You know what I think with Jon?  Jon wants to be a player that sometimes doesn’t look for a shot and by the time the shot is there the place he is looking for, the shot passed. He should look for a shot first and then make a play. If he didn’t have a shot, he can make a play. Jon’s been a good leader for us."

Scheyer was clearly the player of the game for Duke where he scored 23 points on 9 of 11 shooting and had 16 of those points in the first half. 

When asked of his play Scheyer stated, It felt good. "I don’t feel like I’ve been getting many bounces this year. It’s good when you get a win like this. We played really together and made the extra passes except for maybe the beginning of the second half. Besides that, we made the extra passes, played together and we created shots for other people rather than create them for ourselves. That’s a big dimension that our team has had recently. It was big for us. Every night when we step on the floor we have to play like we did today.

If the team plays as it did today, then it will be hard not imagine not seeing them in the Final Four.

Link to Official Box Score  We'll have more on the game later -[/private]

Duke stages an amazing comeback to defeat USC

[private]LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- The eighth-ranked Duke women's basketball team registered one of its largest comebacks in school history on Friday night at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, Calif.  The Blue Devils faced a 17-point deficit with 11:17 remaining in regulation but came back to win 97-89 over Southern California in overtime.

Senior Abby Waner hit a three-pointer with 17 seconds remaining to cut the Trojan lead to 81-80 and nailed a short jump hook with three seconds left to send the game into overtime.  Duke outscored USC, 15-7, in overtime to register the victory.  Sophomore Jasmine Thomas scored a career-high 22 points, while Chante Black notched 22 points and Carrem Gay added 14 points and 12 rebounds for Duke.

Duke will next face Siena (2-7) on Saturday in the Women of Troy Basketball Classic at 10:00 p.m. (EDT).


Blue Devil Postgame Notes
#8/12 Duke at Southern California  *  December 19, 2008

With The Duke Victory:
*       Improved to 8-1 on the season.
*       Coach P improved to 2-1 all-time against Southern California.
 Senior Chante Black
*       Registered double-figure scoring for the ninth straight game to open the season.
*       Posted 22 points marking the second time this season she has notched 20+ points.
 Freshman Shay Selby
*       Hit a career-high two three-pointers on two attempts and finished with a career-high 11 points and five rebounds.
 Senior Carrem Gay
*       Pulled down a season-high 12 rebounds in 38 minutes to go along with 14 points.
*       Posted nine offensive rebounds on the night.
*       Notched her second double-double of the season and fourth of her career.
 Sophomore Karima Christmas
*       Coming off scoring a career-high 14 points against No. 3 Stanford, she scored nine points, had five rebounds and two steals in 14 minutes.
 Sophomore Jasmine Thomas
*       In her second game back from her knee injury, registered 10 first half points and went on to finish the game with a career-high 22 points.
Senior Abby Waner
*       Scored five straight points to close out regulation to send the game into overtime.  Finished with 10 points for the game.
 Freshman Chelsea Hopkins
*       Missed the game due to surgery on her left knee, which was an injury that occurred at Western Kentucky on Nov. 28.
Other Duke Notes:
*       Trailed by 17 (66-49) in the second half, which was the largest deficit of the season for the Blue Devils.
*       Posted its largest come-back since being down 20 at Connecticut on Jan. 3, 2004.
*       Notched five double-figure scorers for the first time this season.
*       The 97 points was the most scored by a Duke team coached by Joanne P. McCallie.
*       Allowed 41 points and a 44.1 field goal percentage in the first half, which were the second highest totals on the season.
*       The 53.6 field goal percentage in the first half was the second-best this season by the Blue Devils.
*       Turned the ball over 14 times in the first half and finished with 29 for the game.
*       Scored a season-high 45 bench points.
*       Allowed a season-high 43.1 field goal percentage.
*       Had a season-high 97 points, but tied a season low with eight assists.
*       Allowed a season-high 89 points for the game.
*       Hit a season-high seven three-pointers.
*       Played in its first overtime game since April 4, 2006 in the National Championship game
*       Assistant Coach Shannon Perry made way back to USC for the first time since she was an assistant coach with the Trojans from 2000-04.
*       Duke next take on Siena on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 10:00 p.m. (EDT) to close out the Women of Troy Basketball Classic.

High School Hoops Edition No. 5

[private]It is the time of year for Hoilday Tournaments with the City of Palms Classic and the Chick-fil-A Classic both involving players committed to or being pursued by Duke.

At the City of Palms, John Wall scored 15 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and dished out nine assists as Word of God defeated American Heritage 63-61. Wall also had two blocks and three steals. On Saturday afternoon, Word of God will face off against St. Patrick's and UNC commitment Dexter Strickland.

On Saturday afternoon, at the Chick-fil-A, the much awaited Ravenscroft and Christ School game will take place.  Both schools feature a player who has signed with Duke: Ryan Kelly for Ravenscroft and Mason Plumlee for Christ School.  The winner of this game has a potential second round game against Miller School which is led by Marshawn Powell and Mychal Parker.  Of course, Miller School has to take care of business and win their first game.  Here is the tournament bracket.

In other games earlier this week:

On Tuesday night, Christ School scored 31 unanswered points including the last 21 points of the first half in a 96-52 win over Asheville Christian. Mason Plumlee scored 14 points in the game. Plumlee scored 13 points on Thursday as the Greenies defeated Greenville SC High School 88-41. This game featured a 25 point Christ School run including the last 16 points of the first half.

Brandon Knight scored 40 points as Pine Crest defeated North Broward Prep 84-52.  Knight made five three point baskets and dished out 10 assists in the game.

Harrison Barnes scored 19 points, all in the first half, as Ames defeated Cedar Falls 77-40.

Josh Smith dropped 30 points on Jefferson as Kentwood won 66-43.

Andre Dawkins scored 17 points as Atlantic Shores pummeled Green Run 78-41.[/private]

Coach K on his PG’s, Zoubek and the Meadowlands (Izod Center)

[private]Wanted to see if you could you talk a little bit about the role situation you have developing in point guard.  You got a guy, a veteran who’s done a lot of great things for you, Paulus, has been kind of banged up and you’ve also got a really talented younger guy, who looks like he’s kind of moved into the starting lineup.  Can you kind of talk about the dynamic in what you have going on there?

Well the main thing for us is we hope that it’s a position that of strength for us.  We think it can be, especially when both guys are healthy.  Greg has been banged up since the end of last season and is getting close to being 100 percent now.  He’s had a really rough go at it. 

Coach K, Copyright BDNP
Coach K, Copyright BDNP
Nolan started the season really well and then he got banged up a little bit, continued to play, hurt his back, and I thought yesterday played much better.  It should be a position of strength, Nolan would start, he’s really done a good job defensively, and he’s very good offensive player and is also a good outside shooter, but Greg’s experience when he comes in, gives us something that a lot of teams don’t have, and then both of them obviously can play together also, because of Greg’s ability to play off the ball and shoot.

I was wondering if you could comment on the progress of Brian Zoubek?

Yeah, we’re really pleased with Brian.  Brian’s been our starting center and it’s been well over a year since he’s been injury free.  Last year was the year from hell so to speak, as far as injury goes.  He broke his foot twice, and never had an opportunity to develop, play and there was just no continuity.  That really lasted until the end of September, when he got the go ahead…not the end of September the end of August, and in September he got the go ahead to play 5 on 5, but for the next about 7 weeks, he had to play with what they call a shank in his shoe, which is kind of playing like with a boot on, and did well, but since he’s gotten that out of his shoe, he’s really shown a lot of progress.  I’m really pleased with him, and hopefully he has the opportunity to stay injury free the rest of the season.

On Xavier -

First of all, they have a winning attitude.  They’re all together in the pursuit of one goal and that is to play well and win.  They play hard, they’re very good defensively, have excellent depth and there’s really not one guy you can stop, because if Anderson doesn’t hurt you, then Raymond will or Brown and Jackson had a great first half scoring against Cincinnati.  They’re a top 10 team, they’re a legitimate team, top team, and the attitude that they have is a great one.  I think Sean has done a great job of instilling that and he’s taken over a great tradition there.  Xavier, when I grew up in Chicago, in a Catholic League, I mean everyone knew about Xavier, they continue to produce really good basketball teams and looks like they have a lot of fun playing.

We are looking forward to it.  I’m not saying this just to say it, it’s always an honor to play there, and to play against Xavier.  It’s going to be a heck of a basketball game and give ultimate respect for them and their kids.  They play the right way.[/private]

5 questions with Kyle Singler

[private]You would have played Xavier if the team had advanced past West Virginia this past March ...

Things happen.  You're going to have upsets.  Xavier is a real good team and we look forward to playing them.

What are your thoughts on the three point shot and the line being moved back?

You don't really notice during the game.  If any thing makes a difference, it's you can get a little bit tired and you shoot short on the shot.  The shot's not really that much farther back.  I like it because it's different and brings a different dynamic to the game.

What do you think of Paulus and Smith at the point guard spot?

They both play hard.  If you play hard and win games you earn respect from your teammates.

Did the team take any solace in the fact that they didn't shoot the ball well in the loss to Michigan?

I don't know with a loss like that.  We just didn't play very well and Michigan played good enough to win.  You get the feel that they wanted it more and this team has to be the one which wants it more.

How do you feel about your play so far this season?

It's really all about the team.  I think we've been good, not great up to his point in the season.   We want to define ourselves as a team so we still have things to work on and get better doing.[/private]

Duke runs past UNC-Asheville 99-56

[private]Duke rode double figure scoring from six different players and a season high 22

Kyle Singler had another productive night for the Blue Devils
Kyle Singler had another productive night for the Blue Devils

assists in route to a 99-56 drubbing of UNC-Asheville.  The win was the 65th straight versus non conference foes in Cameron.

The win pushed Duke to 9-1 for the season and allowed them to get a taste of victory after an eleven day lay off, coming off a road loss to Michigan.   Duke started slowly, but as the exam break blues wore off the Devils got better.

Duke started the game with their starters on the bench, partly being a message to said starters, but just as likely to extend the experience of their depth.

Kyle Singler led the way with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 block as eleven players played  significant minutes.  Henderson tied him for the scoring lead with 14 and Jon Scheyer after a slow start, tallied 13 points.

The other three players scoring in double figures were Greg Paulus, Brian Zoubek and Nolan Smith with 12 points apiece.

Paulus showed significant improvement in his overall floor game and his numbers were almost exactly the same as Smith, save one block he made in the second half.  Paulus also scored all of his points with four.

Duke was also solid from the three point hitting 11 of 27 for 40.5% another season high.  They also connected on the majority of their free throw opportunities going 16 of 19 for 84.2%.

The 99 points Duke put up was also a season high.  Of those 99, 50 points were in the paint and 36 came off turnovers.  Krzyzewski stated that he thought his team not only improved as the game went on but in general.  Duke will next travel to New Jersey where they will take on seventh ranked Xavier on Saturday.

Official Box Score Link[/private]