Blue Devils extend home winning streak


Published: Wednesday, January 3, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 3, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

DURHAM, N.C. — Duke's youngsters have made their way through the preconference schedule. Still, coach Mike Krzyzewski knows things are about to get a lot tougher for his Blue Devils.

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The Associated Press

Josh McRoberts had a career-high 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead No. 5 Duke past Temple 73-55 on Tuesday night, the Blue Devils' final game before starting the Atlantic Coast Conference play.

DeMarcus Nelson scored 14 points and had a career-best 11 rebounds for the Blue Devils (13-1), who extended the nation's longest nonconference home winning streak to 51 games. Duke won for the seventh straight time in the series with Temple (6-6) and has won nine consecutive games overall.

It's a good way for the Blue Devils to head into this weekend's game against Virginia Tech, the start of Duke's pursuit of an eighth league title in nine years. Duke was picked to finish second in the ACC in the preseason despite losing All-Americans J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams.

"We're not a well-oiled machine or anything," Krzyzewski said. "But our kids are doing an incredible job. They're showing you that they're young. They show you that they haven't played as much together at different moments. But usually more of the moments are good.

"Our guys, they really want to be good and they really want to please. They've just got a lot of maturity to build up and the league will do that."

McRoberts, a 6-foot-10 sophomore, is giving the Blue Devils plenty of reason for optimism. He turned in an all-around strong performance, shooting 7-for-12 from the field while tallying four blocks and four assists in 32 minutes.

The Blue Devils also got solid contributions from reserves David McClure (career-high 12 rebounds) and 7-foot freshman Brian Zoubek, who scored eight first-half points that helped Duke push ahead for good. Meanwhile, freshman Jon Scheyer led the defensive effort on Temple's Dionte Christmas, who came in as the Atlantic 10's leading scorer at 20.8 points per game. Christmas finished with 15 points on 5-for-15 shooting.

"They never let up," said Christmas, who was hobbled by an ankle injury. "It was real tough for me to get shots up tonight."

That all added up to the Blue Devils overcoming an early 12-point deficit by holding the Owls to 34 percent shooting and using their size advantage to take a 49-28 rebounding edge.

NO. 6 OHIO ST. 74, INDIANA 67

Greg Oden scored 21 points and Othello Hunter had 14 for host Ohio State in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

Daequan Cook added 12 points and Ron Lewis had 10 for the Buckeyes (12-2), who overcame 12-of-22 3-point shooting by Indiana to improve to 10-0 at Value City Arena.

Armon Bassett's made two free throws with 2:48 left to bring Indiana within 67-62, and Oden returned to the game after missing almost four minutes because of foul trouble. His two free throws with 1:19 left made it 72-64. Roderick Wilmont's 3 brought Indiana within five points, but Oden dashed the Hoosiers' hopes when he blocked a layup by Bassett.

Freshman Joey Shaw led Indiana with a career-high 16 points.

NO. 11 TEXAS A&M 71, WINTHROP 51

Acie Law IV led all scorers with 22 points and added six assists as host Texas A&M cruised to a win over Winthrop.

Antanas Kavaliauskas had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Aggies (12-2), who will begin conference play at home against Kansas State on Saturday.

Winthrop (10-4) was led by Michael Jenkins, who scored 13 points.

NO. 12 OKLAHOMA ST. 129, SOUTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA ST. 77

Ex-Gator Mario Boggan scored a career-high 36 points and JamesOn Curry added 31 as host Oklahoma State set a school scoring record.

The injury-depleted Cowboys used only a seven-man rotation against Division II Southwestern, as starting guard Terrel Harris missed the game with what coach Sean Sutton said was a non-sports-related eye injury suffered over the weekend.

Oklahoma State (14-1) posted its first 100-point game since Jan. 30, 2005, when the Cowboys beat Colorado 104-86, and broke the previous school record of 127 points, set Dec. 3, 1977, against Santa Fe.

Ryan Mann had 15 points for Southwestern (10-1).

NO. 18 CONNECTICUT 69, SOUTH FLORIDA 50

Jeff Adrien and Jerome Dyson both scored 16 points and host Connecticut bounced back from its first loss of the season.

UConn (12-1, 1-1 Big East), which lost at West Virginia on Saturday, led by 14 points at halftime and scored the first 11 points of the second half.

Melvin Buckley had 17 points for South Florida (9-6, 0-1), which didn't make a field goal in the second half until Buckley hit a 3-pointer with 14:25 left that made it 50-28.

ARKANSAS 68, TULSA 59

Gary Ervin and Sonny Weems each scored 14 points to help host Arkansas knock off Tulsa in the Razorbacks final nonconference game of the season.

The Razorbacks (11-3) saw a double-figure lead shrink to two points, 42-40, midway through the second half before going on an 8-0 run to take command. Ervin and Weems keyed the run with Weems pushing Arkansas lead to 53-43 with a pair of free throws with 9:25 left in the game.

Mark Hill led Tulsa (9-3) with a game-high 17 points.

SOUTHERN MISS 56, AUBURN 54

Courtney Beasley's 15-foot jump shot with 3 seconds left gave Southern Miss the win over visiting Auburn.

It was the 10th straight home win for the Golden Eagles (10-2) this season and 11th consecutive at Green Coliseum.

The Tigers (10-5) were led by DeWayne Reed and Frank Tolbert, who each scored 11 points.

MISSOURI 83, MISSISSIPPI STATE 75

Stefhon Hannah scored a career-high 27 points and added five steals to his NCAA-leading average as Missouri beat visiting Mississippi State 83-75.

Hannah, who entered the game averaging 3.9 steals a game, also had five rebounds and five assists for the Tigers (11-2).

Reginald Delk led the Bulldogs (9-4) with 16 points, Jamont Gordon had 15 points and Barry Stewart added 11.

VANDERBILT 74, RICE 69

Forward Shan Foster matched a season-high 29 points, 26 of those in the first half, and visiting Vanderbilt survived a late Rice rally.

The Commodores (10-4) jumped out to an 18-0 lead and led 45-27 at the half.

The Owls (6-6) chipped away at the Vanderbilt lead throughout the second half, and didn't allow the Commodores a field goal in the last 9:17.

Morris Almond led Rice with a career-high 44 points, including 27 in the second half, and 12 rebounds.

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