for this game

Duke slips past Davidson

Dec 1, 2007 - 8:59 PM By Brian Joura PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- For the second time in less than a month, Davidson gave a ranked Atlantic Coast Conference team all it could handle only to fall short in the end.

Greg Paulus hit two big shots in the final 78 seconds to lift seventh-ranked Duke to a 79-73 victory over Davidson on Saturday. Duke (8-0-) took the lead for good at the eight-minute mark of the first half but could not put Davidson (3-3) away.

"We didn't get off to a good start in the game and we didn't finish the half well," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "But for about 12-13 minutes we played outstanding basketball.

"And then at the start of the second half they just killed us. We were taking bad shots and they were forcing us into that."

Stephen Curry hit a 3-pointer shot to cap an 8-0 run, pulling the Wildcats within 43-40 at the 15:58 mark in the second half.

"We called a timeout before the television timeout and that was a big juncture in the game," Krzyzewski said. "DeMarcus (Nelson) hit a three. At the timeout he was the most vocal. He was being a captain and then he followed that up on the court. To me that was a big moment this season. I love when a kid does that."

Duke also got big production from Gerald Henderson, who scored 11 of his 21 points in the second half.

"I thought G was the difference both offensively and defensively," Krzyzewski said. "He had three really big blocks, two in the second half that you just don't teach that. He made big plays for us."

Curry and Jason Richards did keep Davidson within striking distance. Richards capped a 10-2 run with back-to-back baskets to pull the Wildcats within 60-55.

"Richards was magnificent in the second half," Krzyzewski said. "He was good throughout but in the second half he was a big-time basketball player."

Paulus drilled a 3-pointer with 1:21 remaining to give the Blue Devils a 72-66 advantage. After Curry made a shot from the arc 13 seconds later, Paulus responded again with a tough jumper with 33 seconds to go for a 74-69 advantage.

"The way they can penetrate, they're quick off the dribble, so we have to help and they can fling it out and get open shots," Curry said. "It's definitely tough trying to guard both the penetration and the guys who can shoot.

"And from the one through four spots they can shoot the 3 very well and that was difficult to handle."

The Blue Devils made 11-of-25 attempts from the arc.

"If you got guys who can shoot them, you shoot them," Krzyzewski said. "They're pretty good percentages. We were 11 for 25 we'll shoot 25 of them every game."

Jon Scheyer scored 15 points and Kyle Singler added 14 and 12 rebounds for Duke, which beat Davidson for a 21st straight time.

On November 14, Davidson also fought hard against then-No. 1 North Carolina before enduring a 72-68 loss. The Wildcats returned much of their team from last season that reached the NCAA Tournament.

Curry scored 20 points, Richardson 14 and Boris Meno 13 for Davidson, which trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half.

In the opening 20 minutes, Scheyer scored eight points during a 23-7 run midway through the first half to help the Blue Devils build a 43-32 advantage at the break.

Davidson shot 44 percent (30-of-68).