Sophomore Captains Rally Duke

The story of the season heading into the game against Georgetown was the inconsistent play of sophomore captains Josh McRoberts and Greg Paulus. For 20 minutes it seemed as though Duke would have to endure another night of it. However, a second half to remember by both players propelled Duke to a 61-52 win.

McRoberts scored a game high 15, grabbed 7 rebounds, and added 6 assists while Paulus scored all 13 of his points in the second half as Duke rallied from a seven point halftime deficit to earn a 46th consecutive non-conference victory in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

On there way to a 34-27 halftime advantage, Georgetown continually used backdoor cuts and crisp passing to pick apart the Duke defense to the tune of a 58.3% shooting clip (14-of-24) from the field. The Blue Devils couldn't match their opponents in any facet of the game on the offensive side of the ball, shooting just 29.6% from the field while committing 11 first half turnovers.

Almost immediately things began to pick up for Duke after intermission. The Blue Devils used a 12-5 run to open the half to draw even on a pair of Jon Scheyer free throws with 12:43 remaining. During the first five minutes of the half it was the Josh McRoberts show as the 6'10 sophomore scored on back to back possessions before assisting on the next two to account for 8 of his team's 12 points.

After the teams traded baskets, Duke took its first lead in nearly 28 minutes of game play when Jon Scheyer was fouled on a three pointer and hit two of three foul shots to make it 44-43 at the 9:05 mark. Less than a minute later the Illinois freshman would convert a three point play to extend the lead to 47-43, forcing the Hoyas to use a timeout. Almost immediately Georgetown settled down and put together 6-0 run to retake the lead on a Roy Hibbert lay-up with 6:34 remaining.

When it seemed as though the teams were deadlocked, Duke got a much needed lift from a nearly forgotten source. Much maligned sophomore Greg Paulus scored six straight points to push Duke to a 53-50 lead with under four minutes remaining. After knocking down a pair of free throws, Paulus tipped a loose ball to himself and raced 80 feet for a contested layup. The next time down the floor Paulus would break his defender down off the dribble and convert a lay-up over 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert that ignited the Cameron Indoor crowd.

From there it was a matter of Duke converting at the charity stripe the rest of the way.

Jessie Sapp led the Hoyas with 13 points, while Hibbert added 11 points and six rebounds inside. Junior power forward Jeff Green had a relatively quiet night offensively. The 6'9 Green finished with eight points, 10 rebounds, and four assists.

However, for all the success Georgetown has in the first half, there was just as much disappointment and frustration after intermission. Georgetown shot just 26.1 percent (6-for-23) in the second half as Duke once again clamped down on the defensive end, even showing a 2-3 zone at times.

The win moved coach Mike Krzyzewski into 10th place alone on the career victory list with No. 760. He had been tied with former Western Kentucky coach Ed Diddle.

Fellow tri-captain DeMarcus Nelson added 13 points and five rebounds, while freshman Jon Scheyer added 9.

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