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November 4, 2006Just 48 hours from Duke's first exhibition victory, the Blue Devils recorded another win over North Carolina Central in the final tuneup before regular season action begins next Sunday night against Columbia.
For the second straight exhibition game, Duke placed five players in double figures in the 92-63 win over the Eagles.
Duke's offensive output was extraordinarily balanced as Brian Zoubek, DeMarcus Nelson, and Jon Scheyer each had 14 points to lead the Blue Devils.
Josh McRoberts added 13 points while Martynas Pocius played very well by contributing 12 points.
NCCU played competitively in a whistle marred game that featured 54 fouls and 67 free throws between the two teams.
Duke took a 16 point lead to the locker room but the Blue Devils didn't generate permanent separation until the Blue Devils grabbed a 21 point margin on a pair of free throws by David McClure nearly six minutes into the second half.
McClure played a solid all around game with three steals to go along with six points and four rebounds.
Although NCCU shot nearly 50 percent from the floor, Duke's suffocating pressure resulted in 27 turnovers that the Blue Devils turned into offense on the other end.
This exhibition game was clearly a more competitive battle than Thursday night's Duke win over Shaw.
The Eagles got 21 points from Drew Johnson and the transitioning Division I program left Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski impressed.
"[N.C.] Central is a good team," Coach K said after the win. "They're well-coached and you can tell that they're getting ready to go Division I. The talent level has increased with them and they've done a really good job of putting in a system."
With the regular season now upon Duke, there are certainly areas that Krzyzewski wants improved from the exhibition performances.
Saturday night in particular, Krzyzewski was upset with some of his team's mental errors regarding fouls and the use of timeouts.
"I think overall we played well. We made mental errors tonight; not knowing team foul situations. Three times we made plays and were almost out of bounds; we should have called a time-out but each time we threw it away. Those are we things we have to learn especially with our point guard out. We need to have more people thinking as a team in those situations."
33 of Duke's 92 points came at the foul line in what was a very non-rhythmic game.
The Blue Devils only had 13 assists against NCCU after recording 26 in the victory over Shaw.
Duke has seven days to get prepped for the season opening CBE Classic, when the Blue Devils open at home against Columbia in hopes of advanving to the tournament's final two rounds in Kansas City.