Nelson, Duke battle past miscues to beat IndianaNov 29, 2006 - 4:57 AM DURHAM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- It was not pretty but DeMarcus Nelson and Duke remained unbeaten against the Big Ten Conference.
Nelson scored 19 points as the 10th-ranked Blue Devils overcame the loss of an early lead to improve to 8-0 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge with a 54-51 victory over Indiana.
Despite being the only team from the two conferences to remain perfect in the event, the win was quite uncharacteristic for Duke (6-1), which saw a 12-point halftime advantage disappear behind spotty shooting and survived some late free throw and turnover struggles.
"We couldn't catch the ball and we couldn't dribble," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "Then to go down to the other end (on defense) and play beautiful basketball; it seems crazy. To play with a low efficiency on offense and still win is kind of incredible."
Nelson, who finished 6-of-10 from the field with three 3-pointers, had a chance to add to a 53-51 lead after he was fouled on the defensive end by Mike White battling for a rebound with 54 seconds left. However, the junior guard airballed his first attempt and had the second rattle out.
After forward D.J. White failed to handle a pass from Mike White down low, the Hoosiers had an inbound pass under the basket stolen by Blue Devils' freshman Gerald Henderson with 30 seconds to play.
Henderson managed to split two free throws, making it 54-51, and Indiana took an ill-advised 3-point attempt that eventually went out of bounds to Duke with 11 seconds to play.
Despite the missed opportunities, the Hoosiers were given one more when Nelson mishandled the inbounds pass, putting the ball in Errek Suhr's hands with seven seconds left.
Suhr, who scored five points and played outstanding defense on Duke point guard Greg Paulus, dribbled toward the lane and flipped the ball out on the left wing to Armon Bassett, who passed up a clean look before forcing up a shot between two defenders that fell short of the rim.
Freshman Jon Scheyer scored 10 points and Josh McRoberts added seven and seven rebounds for Duke, which missed its first eight shots of the second half to allow Indiana to rally from a 33-21 halftime deficit.
"Today not much looked good on offense," said Krzyzewski, whose team shot 32 percent (14-of-44). "If you have a choice of where you want to be, when you can have one or the other, this is the choice you'd like to have because you can still win with defense and rebounding. The offense will come."
Bassett scored 12 points for the Hoosiers (3-2), who tied the contest at 40-40 on a pull-up jumper by Earl Calloway with 12:12 remaining, but could never take the lead.
Suhr, who played sparingly in the first half, scored all five of his points during a 13-5 run that was capped by Calloway's jumper.
"Suhr took his team when they were drowning and picked them all up," Krzyzewski said. "What a courageous performance by that kid."
Joey Shaw scored nine points off the bench and D.J. White finished with seven and six rebounds for Indiana, which shot 39 percent (20-of-52) and committed 16 turnovers.
Paulus, who broke his foot in preseason practice, continued to work his way back into the lineup, finishing with five points and two assists in 20 minutes before fouling out with 3:02 remaining.
"Medically, his foot is 100 percent but his conditioning is not along with his repetitions in playing the game," Krzyzewski said. "When you're off for five weeks, it takes time. He'll be there."
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