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Paulus guides Duke past Georgetown

Dec 3, 2006 - 2:41 AM DURHAM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Duke has its quarterback return to form.

Point guard Greg Paulus scored all of his 13 points in the second half to lead the 10th-ranked Blue Devils to a 61-52 victory over No. 23 Georgetown.

Fellow sophomore Josh McRoberts scored 15 points for Duke (7-1), which trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half and held Georgetown to 18 in the second.

"He stepped up bigger than I've ever seen," McRoberts said of Paulus. "That was the best game I've ever seen him play. He really stepped up big when we needed him."

The Blue Devils avenged an 87-84 loss to the Hoyas last season that snapped a 17-0 start.

Paulus, a highly touted football recruit at quarterback, injured his foot early in the preseason and has struggled to find his form. He had yet to score in double figures this season and came off the bench the past two games.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said starting Paulus on Saturday was just a natural progression.

"It's not a big decision. It's just a matter of when you do it," the coach said. "Not having him in there was also trying to get other guys off because he was only going to play 20-something minutes. We were just trying to figure out when those minutes were.

"Tonight we said it's time to break some limits; you have to play more than 20 minutes and go after it. He got off to a little bit of a shaky start but then he really showed a lot of poise and toughness."

The 6-1 sophomore came up with the two biggest baskets of the game for Duke. After he hit two free throws to tie the game at 49-49, Paulus made a steal and scored on a layup to put the Blue Devils ahead for good, 51-49, with 4:54 left.

Less than a minute later, he went the length of the court for another layup to make it 53-50 with 4:08 to go.

"A lot of guys made some plays," Paulus said. "You know Josh (McRoberts) is making plays and he's making drives. Jon (Scheyer) made a couple of big shots for us by getting to the foul line. It's going to open up a lot of seams and a lot of area for me to drive.

"It was a tight game and it was a great game. Those are the games we like to play in, where we're making those kind of plays to help us win. I did feel comfortable out there, and it feels good to win."

Georgetown (4-3) scored just one point in nearly six minutes in losing its second consecutive game.

The Hoyas took a 49-47 lead on Roy Hibbert's drive with 6:27 left but didn't manage another field goal until Jeff Green scored inside with 44 seconds to play.

"There was a stretch there where we definitely wanted to go inside and put the ball in their hands," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said of Hibbert and Green. "If we're going to put it in anybody's hands, it's going to be one of those two guys, and we're going to let them make a decision on what happens and we just have to get better."

Jessie Sapp scored 13 points to lead the Hoyas, but 11 came in the opening 20 minutes when Georgetown twice built nine-point leads.

Paulus and freshman guard Scheyer brought Duke back in the second half. Paulus hit a 3-pointer and Scheyer scored five points in an 8-0 run that gave the Blue Devils a 47-43 lead.

Scheyer scored all nine of his points in the second half, including a breakaway layup with 2:16 to play that opened up a 57-50 lead.

"I needed to be there more for my team," Scheyer said. "I wasn't ready to play in the first half, so in the second half I was going to do whatever I needed to do for the team. And it happened that I made a couple of layups - it was nothing big but it was a great feeling, being there for my team."

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