Duke used an early 27-7 run to build a 22 point halftime lead and coast to a 79-54 win over the Virginia Cavaliers. Gerald Henderson and Nolan Smith led the Blue Devils with 18 and 15 points respectively. Jon Scheyer contributed 11 points and was the team's leading rebounder with seven.
Duke utilized tough defense to fuel its offense turning Virginia over 23 times including 17 turnovers in the first half. Duke scored 29 points off of turnovers, while Virginia only managed two points off of nine turnovers. Throughout the game, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski urged the Blue Devils to stay in passing lanes and push the ball off turnovers and rebounds.
Gerald Henderson made a 3-point bucket to start the game and Duke never relinquished the lead. Sylven Landesberg led Virginia with 20 points.
This was an important win for Duke as they were coming off a disappointing loss to Wake Forest on Wednesday. Next up for Duke is a trip to Littlejohn Coliseum to face the Clemson Tigers.
Duke came into the Wake Forest game riding a ten game winning streak which helped them earn a number one ranking in the nation, but as Wake will tell you, teams don't stay there long.
The Deacons who were ranked in the same position a week ago held on to win by a 70-68 score in a game that was not decided until the final buzzer.
Duke woke up to play outstanding basketball over the last ten minutes of the game, but not before digging a 13 point hole. While Duke is likely disappointed with their effort over forty minutes, the comeback proved that you cannot count them out.
Kyle Singler, Gerald Henderson, Jon Scheyer and David McClure put the Dukies on their back in the second half. SIngler scored 22 points and grabbed 12 boards while Henderson chipped in with 20 points and 7 rebounds. A total of 32 of their 44 points were scored after intermission.
While Scheyer continued to struggle from the field, he drained some key free throws while David McClure played good defense and had a team high tying 12 rebounds.
The problem is that most of the other Devils were missing in action. Smith had 6 points, Paulus 5 and Plumlee 4 to round out the scoring. That's just six players scoring against one of the leagues deepest teams.
Despite the lack of early intensity, Duke looked poised to send the game to overtime, but a missed switch on the defensive end allowed an easy Johnson bucket.
The Wake Forest fans rushed the court and Duke was hanging their heads, but it is a game they'll learn from. Duke will now regroup and prepare for Virginia on Super Bowl Sunday.
It's hard to find a starting point in talking about how dominant the Blue Devils 85-44 win over Maryland was today. I mean the Devils defense held Maryland to four points over the last ten
minutes of the first half and limited the visitor to 27% shooting on the day and their lowest point total in forty years. Here are some random thoughts -
Duke hit their three point shots- The Blue Devils shot better from the three point stripe than they did the field where they finished 12 of 25. If Duke can continue this kind of production, they'll be tough to beat come March. An interesting side not is that all of Scheyer's (4 of 13) made field goals were three pointers.
Gerald Henderson - "G" is starting to dominate the game as he finds his comfort level. I mean 17 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals in 23 minutes of play is ridiculous!
The Duke defense- I don't want to jinx these Blue Devils, but could this be the best defensive team Krzyzewski has ever had? While Maryland was ice cold, Duke still created 17 turnovers, held them to 28.2% from the field and a high school
point total of 44. A 12-2 advantage on points off turnovers help too. We may get a more definitive answer after this coming Wednesday's road game at Wake Forest.
Good Match up- This year's Maryland team doesn't have the intimidating front court players as they have in years past. Duke matches up very well with the Terps, as witnessed by their 56-38 rebound advantage.
Chemistry coming around- If you have read my recent game stories, you'll see where I pointed out how few assists Duke was getting from the point guard spot. Well, they woke up today for 85 points on 23 assists is pretty darn good. Duke got 8 assists from their two quarterbacks, Paulus and Smith.
Fun atmosphere in Cameron - It's been a while since the Cameron Crazies, fans and team had as much fan as they did on Saturday. Everything went right and walloping a team that has been a thorn over the years was sweet. The cheers were great and well, it was a lot of fun for Duke fans.
Freshman get minutes- Is anybody tired of the message board talk on Elliot Williams or is it just me? Okay, there will always be some, but Williams showed flashes of coming along. He tossed in 9
points, many on dunks today and played good defense. He is gradually getting accustomed to the speed and physical nature of the ACC. Mile Plumlee had a time getting a shot to drop, in fact he was 0-5, but he did grab 5 rebounds and swatted 3 shots away. Olek Czyz got some burn as well, playing nine minutes.
Is Duke #1?- While UConn may get some votes, Duke should be tops in the land in both polls come Monday afternoon. This week will mark the 60th time Duke has been at the top pf the heap in the ESPN/Coaches poll since it's inauguration. UNC is a distant second.
5-0, 18-1 -The fast start in the ACC is a blessing in that Duke has Wake and UNC coming up twice each and a road trip to Clemson. Trust me in that at Virginia Tech, Boston College and Maryland are no walks in the park. The neighboring team has a much more conducive schedule.
Senior leadership - So, have you noticed the selflessness of Duke seniors David McClure and Greg
Paulus? Well take notice for they have five more games to play in Cameron for their career.
• Game 19 •
[2 AP/2 Coaches] Duke (17-1, 4-0 ACC) vs. Maryland (13-5, 2-2 ACC)
Saturday, January 24, 2009 • 12:02 PM ET • ESPN
Cameron Indoor Stadium (9,314) • Durham, N.C.
Blue Devil Bits
l Duke is 17-1 on the year, including a 4-0 mark in Atlantic Coast Conference play. The Blue Devils
have now started the season with a 17-1 record 10 times, including nine times under Mike Krzyzewski.
l The Blue Devils are ranked second in the AP poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. Duke is 109-16 all-time when ranked second in the AP poll.
l Duke is first in the latest RPI according to CollegeRPI.com. The site also ranks Duke’s strength of schedule third in the NCAA.
l The Blue Devils moved to 4-0 in league play with a 73-56 win over N.C. State on Tuesday. Duke shot 76.9 percent (20-of-26) and outscored the Wolfpack 51-30 in the second half of the game.
l Junior Gerald Henderson scored 17 of his game-high 21 points after halftime. He also led Duke in rebounds (7), assists (4), blocks (1) and steals (5) for the game.
l Kyle Singler scored in double figures for the 17th time in 18 games with 17 points against N.C. State. He was 6-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-4 from three-point range, in the win.
l Gerald Henderson and Kyle Singler combined to outscore N.C. State, 31-30, in the second half. The duo shot 13-of-18 (.722) from the field in the final 20 minutes of play.
l Sophomore Nolan Smith added 13 points, including a pair of three-pointers to spark a 27-7 second half run, against N.C. State.
l Duke has won 19 straight games in the month of January dating back to a 74-63 loss at Georgia Tech on Jan. 10, 2007.
l The Blue Devils are 198-54 under Coach K in the month of January, including a 92-7 mark since 1998.
l Since losing to Michigan, 81-73, on Dec. 6, the Blue Devils have not allowed more than 70 points in a game. Duke’s opponents are averaging just 57.7 points per game over the last nine contests. Six of Duke’s last nine opponents have scored fewer than 60 points.
l Sophomore Kyle Singler leads Duke in points, rebounds, assists and steals. Christian Laettner is the only Blue Devil to lead the team in four major statistical categories in a season. Laettner led the team in points, rebounds, steals and blocked shots during the 1990-91 season.
l Junior Gerald Henderson has reached double figures in scoring in each of the last 10 games, averaging 17.7 points per game in those outings. He is shooting .556 (68-of-128) from the field, including .536 (15-of-28) from three-point range during that span Henderson has scored at least 15 points in seven of his last eight games.
l Gerald Henderson is shooting .797 (47-of-59) from the free throw line this season. Entering the year, he was a career .657 (138-of-210) shooter from the charity stripe. Henderson is also shooting a team-high .449 (22-of-49) from three-point range this season after shooting .318 (28-of-88) from three-point distance in his first two seasons.
l The Blue Devils have the top scoring defense in the ACC, allowing only 60.3 points per game. Duke has held 12 of its 18 opponents to 60 points or less on the season.
l Duke is allowing just 53.5 points per game in league play, 15.7 points per game better than
Maryland (second in the ACC at 69.2 ppg.). The Blue Devils are also first in the ACC in field goal defense (.378) and three-point field goal defense (.269) in league play.
Duke is 15-0 when leading at the half. The Blue Devils have faced a second-half deficit just three times (Rhode Island, Michigan, N.C. State) this season.
l Junior Jon Scheyer has led the team in assists in each of the last five games and eight games overall this season. He currently has 197 career assists and needs three more to become the 36th player in school history with 200 career assists.
l The Blue Devils have won 14 games by double digits this season. Duke ranks second in the ACC in scoring margin (+19.7 ppg.). The Blue Devils lead the ACC with a +16.0 scoring margin in conference-only games.
l Sophomore Kyle Singler is averaging a team-high 17.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in Cameron Indoor Stadium this season. He is shooting .515 (69-of-134) from the field at home with a team-high 18 three-point field goals.
l Greg Paulus has only committed one turnover in 56 minutes of action in Duke’s four ACC games. For his career, Paulus has a 1.6:1 assist-to-turnover ratio in league play.
The Duke offense erupted in the second half and that helped the Duke Blue Devils move to 17-1 overall and 3-0 in the ACC with a 73-56 win over N.C. State.
To call this game a tale of two halfs for the Dukies is an understatement. Duke shot 29% from the
field in the first half and 76.9% in the second. The Blue Devils managed to score just 22 points at the break, but came on to roll up 51 in the second half.
“Our offense, as bad as it was in the first half, it was that good in the second half. I thought they played us really hard. I was worried about today’s game for a couple reasons – one, I think State’s good. After that big win against Georgetown, there’s a little bit of a let-down emotionally, crowd-wise and team-wise," said Krzyzewski.
Duke jumped out to an early 8-1 lead, but then went ice cold from the field as if they were sleep walking after Saturday's big win over Georgetown. Duke trailed the Wolfpack the rest of the way, until the 9:27 mark, when back to back Nolan Smith three pointers gave them a 52-49 lead.
N.C. State rode the scoring punch of Ben McCauley and Brandon Costner who scored 15 points each, but they were shut out down the stretch when the vaunted Duke defense kicked in. The Pack scored a single point in the last 4:41 of the game.
Duke finally broke the game open when David McClure made a steal and hit Gerald Henderson for a dunk and a 62-55 lead.
"There’s game pressure – I thought the second half, the start of the second half, we had great energy. Gerald, especially in the first eight minutes, was great . Nolan – I thought this was his best game, and he’s put three really terrific games together. And Kyle playing with four fouls for eight minutes. It was a one-possession game, and all of sudden we got two steals and turned them into buckets. McClure was huge for us, especially on that top ball screen. It was a hard-fought win for us, but with the score you’d think we kind of walked throgh this," stated Krzyzewski.
Henderson left no doubt that he was the player of the game, continuing his torrid play of late. He put his team on his back on the way to scoring 21 points to go with 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 key steals. The junior continues to play at a very high level and that has been a Godsend in that some other Devils have been in a slump.
“I knew I was going to have to be way more aggressive than I was. Kyle wasn’t playing like he usually does. Jon wasn’t hitting like he usually does. So I guess I kind of took it on my shoulders. My teammates were going to me, Coach was going to me, and I knew that if he was going to call some plays for me I had to make something happen,” said Henderson.
N.C. State Coach Sydney Lowe said, "He (Gerald Henderson) took over the game for a period there and that’s the one guy I talked about in pre-game to the media. He can change the game and he did it again tonight. That’s what he expects of himself and I’m sure that’s what his team expected. He did exactly what a leader is supposed to do. He took over.”
Jon Scheyer had a miserable night scoring a late three pointer, but led his team with 5 assists. Scheyer has now had four sub par scoring games.
Brian Zoubek and Lance Thomas also continued to struggle on the offensive end of the court, but there were several shots in which the seven footer altered the shot. But Zoubs will have to learn to
finish his shot with more authority to get back on track and Thomas needs to find his way back into being a key contributor down the stretch is Duke is to continue their winning ways come the meat of a tough ACC schedule.
Kyle Singler was saddled with four fouls and that made it hard for him to be aggressive on the boards in that he had just 4 rebounds tonight. But Singler is Duke's best interior defender and his 17 points cam at key moments in the second half enabling a late Duke run.
The aforementioned three pointers from Nolan Smith were big and he finished with 13 points but failed to dish a single assist. Paulus had one assist and nine key points off the bench, but Kryzyzewski would most certainly like to see more distribution from the point guard position, although he called this Nolans best game this season.
Despite some struggles, any ACC win is huge in a tough conference. Duke got things rolling late
and escaped what would have been a trp for most teams. It was an evening when the weather caused some no shows and Cameron was nowhere near it's best.
It was clear that Coach K and his staff came out in the second half and got a bit more animated than usual. On a night with so many odd intangibles, there is no way to measure how important that support was.
There is always something special when one of the nation's best programs comes into Cameron for a non conference contest. The crowd seems to amp it up a bit, the intensity is at a high level, and the play is inspired and emotional.
All of the above held true on a game that started at 1:30 on Saturday afternoon as Duke defeated Georgetown 76-67 for their 67th consecutive home court win against outside invaders.
It was the kind of win that assures the Blue Devils a solid seed come March and a victory that allowed Coach K to further analyze his team before it gets into the meat of the ACC schedule.
The Crazies had a bit of fun ragging on Greg Monroe, the talented freshman that spurned Duke without taking a visit. It was obvious that Duke did its scouting on Monroe for they got the big man into foul trouble, essentially taking him out of the game during key stretches.
Gerald Henderson continued on his tear of late with an amazing first half show that enabled the Devils to pull away in what was a tight game before intermission.
Georgetown would of course make a run but could get no closer than four. Singler, who struggled with his shot early, gained his bearing and tossed in 15 points and grabbed a most impressive 16 rebounds.
Paulus added a needed spark off then bench with 10 points and 2 assists and his emotion rubbed of on not only the crowd but his teammates. Paulus scored his 1000st points moving him to 46th on the all time scoring list.
Freshman Miles Plumlee played his best minutes as well and he should be able to build off the performance.
Jon Scheyer was steady as ever leading his team with 5 assists and playing some really good defense, again leading the way with 3 steals and a lot of contested or deflected passes.
There were a lot of positives and we will have more coverage on this important win tomorrow, so check back in. Until then, take a look at the game quotes -
Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
“Well, it’s a great game. It’s two hard-nosed teams who play defense, and kids who play hard on very possession. We feel very fortunate to have won. I thought we played well enough to win and I think [Georgetown] played well enough to win. It was one of those games. [DaJuan] Summers is a very special player – one of the best we’ve played against this year or will play against. He’s really good. Obviously [Greg] Monroe is a special talent, and they have a great perimeter. I thought Kyle [Singler]’s rebounding performance was spectacular – 16 rebounds in this game when we only had 32, although there weren’t that many missed shots. That’s a spectacular performance. And, [Gerald Henderson] really gave us a huge boost, I mean he played a terrific game. I thought [Greg] Paulus played withthe fight that he’s had throughout most of his career here, and I think he’s finally getting healthy. He and Nolan [Smith] out there in this game was a good combination and it limited our turnovers – we had 14 assists and 12 turnovers. The last 10 minutes of the game with Kyle in foul trouble was interesting, but we hung in there and made our free throws, didn’t make mistakes down at the end there. I’m real proud of my team, plus the crowd was great. It was a great atmosphere and the crowd helped us, no question about it.”
On the switch in lineup and less minutes for the post players:
“A lot of it had to do with their offense. Monroe is a very unique player, and he’s their point guard – he plays at the top, goes to the side, and if you play him in a traditional sense, big-on-big, he’s going to get a lot of open passes. His vision is terrific, so we thought that was part of how we might be able to limit them. [Miles] Plumlee came in and did a great job for us. We have a versatile team, and we should be able to use our personnel to match up against someone the way we did, and that’s why we did it.”
On the impact of the technical foul called on Monroe: “It gave us two points. We were really horrible on three straight offensive possessions in transition, where we could have gotten six points, and I think they ended up getting seven off of those, and that’s a huge swing – potentially a 13-point swing. It was one of the worst swings of the game, and we were responsible for that. So, [the technical] just kind of stopped the game for a while, maybe we righted the ship, and we hit the free throws.”
On Gerald Henderson’s play recently: “I think he’s finally over that wrist injury. Remember he was out for four months – he didn’t do anything basketball-wise for four months at the end of last season. It’s still not 100-percent, but now he’s learned to finally live with it. The last month he’s just kind of gone off. I think he’s in great shape, probably the best shape that he’s been in since he’s been here. His weight is down, so instead of playing at around 215-216 [pounds] he’s probably 210-211 and all those things have an impact.”
On Georgetown’s offense: “Theirs is a read offense. It’s based on movements and reads. [Coach John Thompson III] gives his guys a lot of freedom in that offense, and that’s why Monroe is so huge with that because he has a great feel for the game and he makes good reads. What we tried to do is rush the quarterback, at least put pressure on the quarterback, so it at least took away some of his vision. He had four assists but he had four turnovers. He had a good game, but when he walks on the floor he can potentially have a great game. He had a good game today and that helps us.”
On Greg Paulus’ play:
“I thought that was, by far, his best performance this year. What he showed was fight. He was playing really good defensively, playing with emotion, and gave us a huge boost. I mean, we don’t win the game without Greg today. Greg had a huge impact on today’s game.”
Duke Junior Gerald Henderson
“The first half was great. It was special. My teammates were finding me and I was knocking shots down. We got a good lead at the end. In the second half, shots weren’t falling like they were in the first half. I just started getting to the rim a little more. They started taking some things away, but I ended up on my drives being able to kick it out to my teammates so it was good.”
“I grew up basically in Villanova. I’ve been to Georgetown-Villanova games at the Pavilion. I’ve been to those games, I’ve watched them play, and I know what kind of intensity the Big East brings. Growing up around that, it was fun to play them and beat them.”
“This is the second time I’ve played Georgetown [in Cameron]. Both games have been unbelievable in terms of intensity, and this one didn’t disappoint at all. We won but it was a lot of fun.”
“I think after [the Michigan] loss where nobody really played that well, I kind of made it a mission to myself that I could contribute more and do a lot more out there on the court. A loss really kind of made me realize that. Up to that point, we were winning but I wasn’t playing all that great. That loss kind of opened up my eyes and told me that I needed to contribute a little more.”
Duke Senior Greg Paulus
“Whether the team is from the Northeast, the South or the West, you want to win and you want to win at home. You want to protect your home turf. We really wanted to win this one, not because it was ACC-Big East, but just because we’re playing and we hate to lose.”
“It was a very intense game. They’re a big, physical team and we’ve played them a couple of years – I’ve played them three times – so we knew it was going to be that kind of game. We knew that was the type of effort we were going to need in order to win.”
On Gerald Henderson:
“He’s playing well. He’s got a lot of confidence and we have a lot of confidence in him. Some of the moves that he’s making are at a very high level. It’s tough to defend and you can really feel his presence out there.”
“Whenever you can play one of the best teams in the country like Georgetown you get that type of experience. You play a lot of different teams in non-conference and they’re big and they’re long, and those are the types of teams you could see in the NCAA Tournament. Having this type of experience to win, it’s a good thing for our team.”
On his defensive spark in the second half: “We needed some energy so I tried to make a play. Luckily I got my hand on a ball and it was just good energy that we needed. We had those types of plays – Jon [Scheyer] made a steal that was big, Kyle [Singler] hit some threes – so we did a good job of closing the game out.”
Duke Sophomore Kyle Singler
On his first half shooting: “Sometimes your shot’s not going to fall. You can’t get down on yourself for missing a shot. Things happen. I thought the whole team played well and I fed off the team. That’s what happened – I wasn’t worrying about whether I was making my shots or not. Once the crowd got into it, you kind of lose all sense of if you’re making shots or not.”
“These types of games are very good for us. This is a very good team. It’s the type of team that’s a top team in the ACC. It’s a team that you’re going to play in the NCAA Tournament. It’s great preparation. But when it comes down to it, the game is over and you have to move on. We have to go on to N.C. State and start the ACC and keep on doing what we’re doing – playing good basketball.”
On his improved rebounding: “A lot of times the balls just come to you, to be honest. But it’s those 50/50 balls that you kind of haveto go out of your way to get. I had a couple of those tonight and I was able to get those 50/50 balls. One of the other main things that happens [compared to] last year, you’re older, a little stronger, you’re able to withstand a full-length game. You’re able to have legs and go get balls, and I’ve been workingreally hard on grabbingrebounds with two hands, especially at this level. A lot of big guys get hands on ball and tip them out of your hand. As a rebounderthat‘s the most frustratingthing.”
Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III
Explanation on technical foul on Greg Monroe “They outplayed us, we’re not going to sit here and look at that and say that was the reason the outcome was what it was. They outplayed us, that’s why we lost.”
On Duke’s run in the final eight minutes of the first half “During that stretch I think they did a very good job of executing at the defensive end and we couldn’t fall into a rhythm. We didn’t execute well at the offensive end, we made some poor decisions. And as happens with good teams, they got to feeling good, they went on a run, and the emotions of the building took over. So we went for too long of a stretch not scoring. But that’s a tribute to them.”
On lineup changes from first and second half “The group with [DaJuan Summers], [Greg Monroe], [Austin Freeman], [Jason Clark], [Omar Wattad] was playing well. We were down 15 or 16 and got it to four. Then they got a little tired and the lead went back to 11 or 12 I think. We got them back in there and the lead went back down again so this group was playing well together.”
On Greg’s reaction to the technical foul
“He was just saying to me ‘I didn’t say anything, I didn’t say anything’. I don’t know what went through his mind, but that’s what his reaction was.”
On what he takes from the game
“It’s a non-conference game in the middle of a very tough conference schedule, so it’s a very disappointing loss for a lot of different reasons, but we have to moveon. I think we continue to see our comfort level with different groups. Like you indicated, tonight it was Omar [Wattad] and Jason [Clark]. We made two separate runs when those guys were on the floor, so it’s going to be a different group on different nights depending on the flow, depending on what my feel is, and what I think is working and what is not working.”
On technical foul
“The technical was a key part of the game, let’s not try to run from that, it was a key part of the game. On top of everything, now Greg [Monroe] has four [fouls]. It clearly altered how they attacked us and what we could do, but that’s not the reason that we ended up with less points than them tonight. They played very well. They made plays, particularly in the first half. Early in the first half they were making tough shots. We played the defense, but they were making tough shots. Then there was a stretch in the second half where we were getting good looks, the ball just wasn’t going in, so that’s sports, that’s basketball, that’s life. They beat us today.”
On Gerald Henderson
“He put them on his shoulders and carried them. He was terrific. He was unbelievable. He just got into the flow and that happens with good players. He got into a rhythm and made everything he threw up.”
On how playing in the environment helps the team
“You go to places and you play the games and hopefully you learn from mistakes. We have to take something away from every game, win or lose.”
Georgetown freshman Greg Monroe
Whether he heard anything being said behind him
“A lot of people were saying things. I don’t even believe he was really looking at the bench, but I know I definitely didn’t say anything. I can’t say if I heard someone else, but I know I definitely didn’t say anything.”
Georgetown junior DaJuan Summers
On his offensive production slowing down in the second half
“I did miss a lot of key free throws, but that’s not why my offensive production stopped or slowed down. I tried to find different looks, not force shots, and find the best shots down the stretch. That’s probably mostly why.”
On team’s offensive execution down the stretch “I didn’t say it wasn’t great. I said, me down the stretch, I was trying to make the right play. They play good defense. They are a good defensive team and we as a team have to figure out ways to get better shots and not let the other team dictate where we are going to get our shots. That process is key for us, but they play great defense.”