Blue Devils Survive Against IU

Eight editions of the annual ACC/Big 10 Challenge. Eight straight Duke victories in the event after the Blue Devils beat Indiana 54-51 on Tuesday night in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

DeMarcus Nelson scored a team best 19 points as Duke improved to 6-1 on the season, and earned head coach Mike Krzyzewski his 759th career victory - the 10th highest total in history.

Once again it wasn't pretty as the young Blue Devils were turnover prone for most of the game, which limited their offensive output. However, as has been the major theme for everyone of the team's six wins, the Duke defense severely limited its opponent throughout the first half. As a team the Hoosiers (3-2) shot just 9-of-26 (34.6%) from the field, and turned the ball over 11 times.

With Indiana struggling against the pressure of Duke early, the Blue Devils took control of the game early as DeMarcus Nelson scored 13 of his team's first 17 points as the lead slowly swelled to as many as 15 before an Earl Calloway running layup cut the lead to 33-21 at the half.

If the first half was all about Duke's defense and Indiana's lack of offense, then the second was a complete reversal of fortunes as the Hoosiers used a 14-2 spurt to open the half, cutting the lead to 2 at 35-33. In that early run Duke missed 11 straight shots before Josh McRoberts hit a foul line jumper. However the Hoosiers kept coming, eventually tying the game at 40 with 12:01 remaining on a Calloway jumper.

Then it was time for Nelson to take over. The junior captain drew a foul and hit a pair of free throws before knocking down a three pointer from the wing on the next posssesion to push the lead to 45-40 with 10:14 left.

After trading baskets for the next six minutes, Duke got a big lift when Jon Scheyer knocked down a three from the left corner to make it 53-46 with under four minutes remaining. Still, Indiana kept fighting, eventually clawing back to within 53-51. Duke sent Nelson to the line with 53 seconds remaining, but the junior missed both, giving the Hoosiers a chance to tie or take the lead.

After a McRoberts block out of bounds, David McClure stole the inbounds pass and called time out. Indiana would then be forced to foul freshman Gerald Henderson with 30 seconds remaining. He would hit one of two to make it 54-51. After the Hoosiers turned the ball over, Nelson bobbled the in-bounds pass to give Indiana one final chance. However a desperation three from Errek Suhr didn't draw iron and Duke survived.

Armon Bassett led the Hoosiers with 16 points, while Joey Shaw added 9. Indiana dropped to 2-4 in their six appearances in the Challenge.

In addition to Nelson, Duke also saw Jon Scheyer reach double figures with 10 points. McRoberts added 7 points, and seven rebounds. As a team Duke was out-rebounded for the first time all season, losing the battle of the boards 36-34.

Offensively the Blue Devils weren't much better, shooting just 33.3% (14-of-42) from the field and 6-of-18 from the perimeter. The saving grace for Duke, and ultimately the difference in the game was the free throw shooting of both teams. Duke shot a respectable 20-of-29 from the line. The Hoosiers hit just 7-of-15.

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