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Nelson, Scheyer lead Duke past George Mason

Dec 9, 2006 - 7:19 PM DURHAM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- DeMarcus Nelson and Jon Scheyer teamed up to keep Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski perfect against Colonial Athletic Association competition.

Nelson and Scheyer combined for 42 points and the ninth-ranked Blue Devils turned in another tough defensive effort in a 69-53 victory over George Mason.

A surprising Final Four team a year ago, George Mason found it tough going at Cameron Indoor Stadium as Krzyzewski improved to 22-0 at Duke against CAA teams.

"I have to say in terms of an environment to play college basketball, there's nothing better than coming to Cameron Indoor Stadium," George Mason coach Jim Larranaga said. "Quite frankly, our inexperience shows almost from the opening tip to the final buzzer.

"We have so many little things to work on to get good enough to compete at a national level again. We've got some potential but clearly have some work to do to get back to where we want to be."

The Blue Devils (9-1) led 33-22 at the half and got off to a quick start after the break. Nelson had a jumper, a dunk and a 3-pointer all within the first two minutes of the second half to give his team a 40-25 lead.

Nelson was 8-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-4 from the arc, and finished with a career-high 24 points.

After battling injuries in parts of both of his first two seasons at Duke, Nelson seems to be growing into a leadership role this season and is improving offensively. He now has two 20-point games this season, same as his career.

"I know right now mentally I am somewhat stronger than I was in the past," Nelson said. "I feel great, my body is great and my mind is feeling great. I think the biggest adjustment is mentally. Knowing where I'm supposed to be, what kind of player I am and just playing to my strengths."

A freshman, Scheyer made four 3-pointers and had 18 points to help Duke extend the nation's longest home-court winning streak against non-conference foes to 48 games.

"It was just me playing, my teammates still tell me after the game to stop passing up shots," Scheyer said. "Today I came out with some confidence and I didn't even start out shooting the ball that well. I just stayed with it because the coaches and my teammates have confidence in me."

Duke's last non-conference home loss came to St. John's, 83-82, on February 26, 2000. The Blue Devils have now won 178 of their last 181 non-conference home games.

The streak never was in much danger against George Mason as Duke jumped out to a 17-9 lead in the first 10 minutes, led the whole way and had a season-high 21 assists while committing a season-low 11 turnovers.

"We did a really good job of taking care of the ball and sharing the ball," Nelson said. "When people are taking care of the ball, you are going to get good results."

The Blue Devils entered the game limiting their opposition to 51.4 points and 36 percent shooting from the floor. The Patriots were just able to surpass both marks, hitting 22-of-53 (42 percent) of their attempts.

Folarin Campbell and Will Thomas each scored 13 points for George Mason, which dropped to 0-4 against teams that appeared in the NCAA Tournament last season.

    --- --- -----
    GEORGE MASON 22 31 53
    DUKE (9) 33 36 69 FINAL

    Dec 9 1:56 PM

    DUKE (9) 33 HALFTIME

    Dec 9 12:46 PM