McRoberts Leads Duke Past Kent State

Josh McRoberts scored a career best 19 points to power Duke past the Kent State Golden Flashes 79-72 on Tuesday night in Cameron.

DURHAM, N.C. – Josh McRoberts scored a career-high 19 points as sixth-ranked Duke posted a 79-72 win over Kent State on Tuesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Blue Devils, now 10-1 on the year, increase the nation's longest active home winning streak over non-conference opponents to 49. Sam Houston State holds the second longest active streak at 33 games. Kent State falls to 5-4 with the loss.

McRoberts finished the night with 19 points, six rebounds, four assists, four steals and six blocked shots. With his fine all-around performance, the Carmel, Ind., native became the first player in school history to have four or more points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks in a single game. He also established career single-game bests for steals and blocked shots.

Omni Smith paced the Golden Flashes with a career-high 33 points, sinking 14-of-20 field goal attempts on the night. Smith entered the game with just three three-point field goals in 11 attempts, but buried five-of-eight shots from beyond the arc against the Blue Devils.

Jon Scheyer scored the middle 10 points – in a span of 1:38 – during a 14-0 Duke run that turned a 4-2 deficit into a 16-4 lead just over four minutes into the game. Duke later held a 36-29 advantage following a three-pointer by Scheyer with 4:42 left in the half, but Kent State responded with a 9-1 run to go ahead 38-37 when Chris Singletary buried a three-point shot with 1:16 remaining. Duke closed the half with a one-handed dunk by McRoberts to lead by one, 39-38, at the break.

In the first half, Scheyer hit on four-of-five three-point attempts en route to scoring 15 of his 17 points.

Kent State took three-point leads on two occasions in the second half including a 55-52 advantage with 10:13 on the clock. With the score knotted at 57-57 at the nine minute mark, the Blue Devils used a 10-0 spurt to lead by 10 when McRoberts scored on a layup with five minutes left. Kent State would get no closer than five points the rest of the way.

DeMarcus Nelson added 18 points, six rebounds and three assists while Greg Paulus contributed 12 points and five assists with a perfect six-of-six showing from the foul line.

Three players joined Smith in double figures for Kent State as Singletary tossed in 11 points while Haminn Quaintance and Mike Scott added 10 each.

The Blue Devils next travel to New York City to play 22nd-ranked Gonzaga on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m., and the game will be televised live by espn2.

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