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February 23, 2008

No. 5 Duke ends slide with easy win

Box score

DURHAM, N.C. Kyle Singler led five double-figure scorers with 16 points and No. 5 Duke routed St. John's 86-56 on Saturday to snap its two-game losing streak.

Gerald Henderson and Nolan Smith scored 13 points apiece for the Blue Devils (23-3), who overwhelmed the Red Storm with a 32-9 run late in the first half and cruised to their NCAA-leading 59th straight nonconference victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Jon Scheyer added 12 points in his first start of the season and center Brian Zoubek had 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for Duke, which showed none of the ballhandling or defensive problems that plagued coach Mike Krzyzewski's team in losses at Wake Forest and Miami.

Instead, the Blue Devils got things clicking again at the expense of a young St. John's team that has eight freshmen in the rotation. Duke, which allowed an average of 91 points in the two defeats, forced the Big East's worst offense into 18 turnovers, limited it to 3-of-13 shooting from 3-point range and held it to two field goals during a 9 1/2-minute first-half stretch.

Anthony Mason Jr., who leads the Red Storm (10-16) with a 15.2-point average, was held to four on 2-of-11 shooting. Freshman D.J. Kennedy had 16 points to lead the Red Storm, the last non-Atlantic Coast Conference team to win at Cameron.

Almost exactly eight years ago, they came here and knocked off the Blue Devils 86-85. But this time, Duke denied them their first road victory against a ranked opponent under coach Norm Roberts and instead sent them to their fourth straight loss.

Scheyer, a starter in 2006-07 who has flourished in his sophomore season as Duke's sixth man, replaced Henderson in the lineup. Henderson played with a brace protecting his injured right wrist, and Krzyzewski said on his pregame radio show that the sophomore guard will require surgery on it after the season.

Scheyer scored 12 points during the decisive run, and Singler bookended it. He started the burst with a 3-pointer from the left wing midway through the half that made it 18-16 and put the Blue Devils ahead to stay, then capped it with a layup from Smith that pushed the lead to 47-25 1:06 before the break.

For more coverage of Duke, visit DevilsIllustrated.com; for more on St. John's, visit RedStormReport.com.



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