After struggling on and off as the point guard throughout the season, Paulus played as more of a combo guard against the Deacons - hunting his shot, and finding it early in the first half to the tune of a career best four three pointers by intermission on the way to 14 first half points.
Poor shooting by the Deacons allowed Duke to build an early 18-8 advantage before Wake began to seek out senior big man Kyle Visser inside. He responded by scoring four quick points and handing out an assist as part of a 9-2 run to cut the lead down to 20-17. However, on the subsequent possession, Visser was whistled for an offensive foul against Duke's Lance Thomas - his third, and was sent the to the bench.
With their interior presence unavailable, the Deacons were powerless to stop the Blue Devils on either end of the floor. Over the final six and a half minutes Duke clamped down on the defensive end forcing turnovers and missed shots into easy baskets as part of a 15-3 run to close the half with a 14 point advantage.
If the play in the first half was spotty on both sides, the second saw both teams lose any sense of offensive consistency for most of the second 20 minutes. Turnovers and poor decisions were the order of the half as the teams struggled to put points on the board for the first 10 minutes. Though Wake Forest would cut the Duke lead to 12 with 7:55 remaining, they could get no closer the rest of the way.
Aside from McRoberts and Paulus, Coach Mike Krzyzewski's team got a balanced scoring attack with DeMarcus Nelson, Gerald Henderson, and Jon Scheyer scoring nine points apiece. David McClure added seven and six rebounds to the cause.
Duke will look to get above the .500 mark in conference play when they travel to NC State on Saturday for an afternoon tip against the Wolfpack.