Duke Is Done In Second Round

No. 9 and second-seeded Duke fell in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament Saturday here at the Verizon Center to seventh-seeded West Virginia, 73-67, to ends its 2007-08 campaign. The Blue Devils finish with a 28-6 record while the Mountaineers improve to 26-10 and advance to the Sweet 16 for the third time in four years.

Gerald Henderson led the way for the Blue Devils with 18 points off of a 5-of-9 performance from the field. Jon Scheyer added 15 points off the bench while Greg Paulus was the only other Duke player in double figures with 13 points and three three-pointers.

The Mountaineers were led Joe Mazzulla off the bench with 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in 31 minutes. Joe Alexander had 22 points and 11 rebounds while Alex Rouff had 17 points.

"The story of this game is Joe Mazzulla," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "He looked like a mini Jason Kidd out there getting all those rebounds and assists. He played tremendously."

Duke controlled the majority of the first half and after falling behind 4-0 in the first two minutes, fueled by a pair of threes from Paulus, they were able to score 14 unanswered to take a 14-4 lead six minutes into the half. After Kyle Singler hit a pair of free throws to give Duke a 18-8 lead, West Virignia rattled off seven straight to cut the lead to three nine minutes into the half.

Paulus hit a jumper at the 9:13 mark to put Duke up 22-17 and despiste not hitting a field goal for over four minutes, Duke maintained the lead by hitting all 12 of its free throws in the opening stanza. The pace slowed but the Blue Devils held serve to hold a five point lead in the first half, 34-29.

"I felt that we played better than a five point advantage in the first half," Krzyzewski said. "That was one of the keys of the game."

Henderson opened up the second half with a dunk to put the Blue Devils up by seven but Duke wouldn't score another field goal for 6 1/2 minutes and when Scheyer hit a jumper with 13:29 remaining, it was to tie the game at 40. Scheyer would hit another jumper at the 9:23 mark to end a four minute scoring drought. At that point, West Virginia held a five point advantage, 47-42.

"Our effort was great, especially on defense," Krzyzewski said. "We just couldn't hit a shot and they really out played us on the boards."

West Virginia would push the lead to double figures first on a three by Rouff with 4:42 left to hold a 60-49 lead. The Mountaineers biggest lead came off a pair of Mazzulla free throws at the 2:01 mark to give the Mountaineers a 66-52 lead. Duke actually scored 15 points in the final two minutes and nine in the final minute but the late game charge wasn't enough as the Mountaineers held on for the six point victory.

The Blue Devils saw DeMarcus Nelson's career come to an end. The 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and first team All-ACC performer, Nelson finished his career with 1,334 points, 606 rebounds, 222 assists and 145 steals. He is just one of six players to score 1,300, grab 600-plus rebounds, dish out 200-plus assists and generate 125 or more steals in Duke history, joining the likes of Christian Laettner, Danny Ferry, Shane Battier, Grant Hill and Mike Dunleavy.

Nelson is the only player under 6-5 in Duke history listed as a guard to grab 600 or more rebounds.

"You know, 28-6 is a great season," Krzyzewski said. "And DeMarcus is a big reason we won 28 games. He's been fantastic all year."


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