Defensive Devils Dominate Lenoir-Rhyne

DURHAM, N.C. - Kyle Singler scored 22 points and Brian Zoubek added 15 as No. 8 Duke routed Lenoir-Rhyne 95-42 on Wednesday night in an exhibition game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Singler, the Atlantic Coast Conference's reigning Rookie of the Year, was 9-of-11 from the field for the Blue Devils, who shot 60 percent (36-of-60) from the field.

"Kyle is actually playing very athletically right now," said head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "The last week to 10 days, he's really got a lot of bounce. He's playing real well and played well tonight. If we're running our stuff, he gets placed in mismatches where he can shoot it, drive it, or post it and then he can score on the boards. Kyle should be a really big scorer for us. He has the chance to be a special player."

Nolan Smith added 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting for Duke, which held the Bears to one field goal over a 10-minute first-half stretch. The Blue Devils took control of the game with a 28-5 first half run and closed a solid defensive effort by allowing just 13 second-half points.

Lenoir-Rhyne, a Division II school best known for producing Texas coach Rick Barnes, kept things tight early before the Blue Devils took over. Greg Paulus started the game-breaking run by making three free throws with 13:44 left to break a 13-13 tie. Over the next 10 minutes, Duke forced eight turnovers and held the Bears to 1-for-11 shooting. Lance Thomas capped the run with two free throws to make it 41-18 with 4:26 in the first half.

Martynas Pocius knocked down a three-pointer with just over a minute to go in the half and Smith went the length of the floor for a layup with six seconds remaining to give Duke a 51-29 halftime edge.

The Blue Devils' swarming defense continued after halftime as they limited Lenoir-Rhyne to one field goal in the opening 9:47 of the second half. Duke rattled off a 22-2 run that included six dunks and a pair of three-pointers during that stretch. The Bears missed 14 of their first 15 shots to begin the second half and finished the final 20 minutes 6-of-34 (17.6 percent) from the field.

For the game, Duke held Lenoir-Rhyne to 27.9 percent (17-of-61) shooting, while forcing 20 turnovers. The Blue Devils finished with 12 steals with Singler, Jon Scheyer and David McClure each collecting three.

"We have a team who can pressure the ball, whether it's me, Jon [Scheyer], Gerald [Henderson], Kyle [Singler], Greg [Paulus]," said Smith. "One through five, we can pressure the ball and a lot of teams don't have five ball handlers who can handle that kind of pressure, so that's going to be key."

Duke also controlled the boards throughout the game posting a 47-23 rebounding advantage. Singler and Zoubek led the way with eight rebounds apiece, while junior Gerald Henderson chipped in with six boards.

Josh Rudder scored 10 points for Lenoir-Rhyne. Jeff Thomas added nine points and Eilliott Mcdowell had eight points for the Bears.

Duke opens the regular season Monday night against Presbyterian in the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.

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