for this game

Nelson powers Duke to rout of Albany

Dec 18, 2007 - 5:39 AM By Brian Joura PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DURHAM, North Carolina (Ticker) - Albany entered its game against No. 7 Duke ranked among the leaders in scoring defense at 59.2 points per game.

That stat will change after the Blue Devils scored nearly that many points in the first half alone en route to a 111-70 victory over the Great Danes on Monday night.

DeMarcus Nelson scored 23 points as Duke (10-0)) never trailed in the game and built a 28-point lead in the opening half thanks to a blistering shooting night.

"I thought DeMarcus played very, very well," Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "But he has been. He's been our most consistent excellent player. It's just that he goes under the radar."

The Blue Devils shot 60 percent (38-of-63) from the floor for the game, including 15-of-26 from 3-point range, in winning their NCAA-best 57th consecutive non-conference home game.

Nelson had 16 of his team-high 23 points in the opening 20 minutes as Duke connected on 9-of-14 from the arc.

"He had 23 points on seven shots," Krzyzewski said. "That's pretty good."

In addition to hitting five of his first six shots, Nelson also played his usual excellent defense, helping to limit Albany's leading scorer Brian Lillis to just two first-half points.

When they were not scoring from long range, the Blue Devils consistently got to the rim. They finished with 28 points on an assortment of layups, putbacks and dunks.

"We turned the ball over too many times early in the game and let them get in a rhythm," Great Danes coach Will Brown said. "The thing is when you break down against this Duke team, they make you pay."

Duke continued to get strong play from its bench. Jon Scheyer came off the bench to score 18 points and Taylor King added 17.

Nelson hit two free throws at the 6:08 mark to lift the Blue Devils to the 100-point plateau.

Free-throw shooting was the one weakness on the night for Duke, which hit just 59 percent (20-of-34) from the line. But it still ended up with twice as many makes (20) as Albany had attempts (10).

"For us the effort was really good and we obviously shot well," Krzyzewski said. "It was kind of a physical game because of fighting for position.

"And when you're away from competition for a little over a week, you forget about that. And I think it affects you a little bit on the free-throw line."

The lone bright spot for the Great Danes (5-5) was redshirt freshman Tim Ambrose, who came off the bench to score a game-high 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting.

Brown came away impressed by the Blue Devils in every facet of the game.

"If this team sticks together a little longer, and it might be this year, there's going to be another national championship banner hanging up," Brown said. "They play the game the right way, they play with a purpose and they're unselfish."

    --- --- -----
    ALBANY 31 39 70
    DUKE (7) 57 54 111 FINAL

    Dec 17 8:59 PM

    ALBANY 31
    (7) DUKE 57 HALFTIME

    Dec 17 7:53 PM