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November 16, 2006

Defense stays hot in 75-48 win

Box Score

After 27 years coaching Duke basketball, it seems as though Mike Krzyzewski's teams have accomplished everything that can be accomplished, but the 2006-07 team carved a unique niche Thursday night.

Duke's 75-48 win over UNC-Greensboro moved the Blue Devils to 3-0 on the season and for the third straight game to open year, Duke limited its opponent to less than 50 points, a first under Coach K.

The defensive dominance included 17 steals, many of which led directly to points as the Blue Devils scored 27 points off UNCG's 24 turnovers.

Also for the third straight game, a balanced attack carried Duke to victory.

Sophomore David McClure played the best overall game of his career, coming within three steals and one rebound of a triple-double.

McClure provided early separation for the Blue Devils about midway through the first half.

After Duke jumped to a quick 11-2 lead, the Spartans clawed back to trim the margin to 13-8, which is when McClure reeled off six straight points, including a steal and a breakaway to cap the quick spurt and put Duke up double digits.

From that point on, Duke outscored the Spartans 26-12 for the final 11 minutes of the first half, with an electric play from freshman Gerald Henderson serving as the highlight.

Following a steal by Jamal Boykin near the basket, point guard Greg Paulus lobbed the ball to Henderson way above the rim, and the athletic phenom elevated to the ball and flushed home a thunderous dunk to send the crowd into a frenzy.

That play sparked Henderson, as he finished the evening with 12 points on 6-of-11 shooting.

Paulus did not start the game after a sub-par performance against Georgia Southern Monday night, but Josh McRoberts more than picked up the slack in the assist column.

The sophomore forward has handled the ball regularly so far this season and he continued that role against UNCG. McRoberts scored just six points on the night but handed out seven assists while putting on an interior passing clinic.

The Blue Devils once again used a 10 man rotation, with only Jon Scheyer playing more than 30 minutes on the evening.

Freshman center Brian Zoubek paced the team with 17 points, using his immense size advantage well.

But it was Duke's relentless defense that once again ruled the day.

The Blue Devils dove on the floor, were active all over the court, and took the Spartans out of any kind of offensive flow.

Though Southern Conference player of the year candidate Kyle Hines finished the game with 17 points, it took him 16 shots to reach that figure, and the Spartans as a team were limited to 31.6 percent field goal shooting.

Duke will have an off day Friday before returning to the practice floor Saturday.

Then, the Blue Devils travel west to Kansas City for the final two rounds of the CBE Classic.

Duke will face Air Force in the semifinals Monday night and will meet either Texas Tech or Marquette in Tuesday's action.


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