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King, Duke hold off Temple

Jan 10, 2008 - 5:31 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Duke survived a second-half cold spell from the floor to continue its recent dominance over Temple.

Freshman Taylor King scored 15 points and DeMarcus Nelson added 13 and nine rebounds as the seventh-ranked Blue Devils held off the Owls, 74-64, on Wednesday.

Greg Paulus chipped in 13 points and Jon Scheyer had 10 for Duke, which beat Temple for the eighth straight time and have not lost to the Owls since the 1995-96 season.

"This is a good game for our team," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We are still very young (with) DeMarcus being the only senior. Our freshmen class did a really good job. Taylor King gave us a huge lift."

The victory was the 787th in Krzyzewski's career, moving him past Lefty Driesell into sole possession of sixth place on the all-time list.

"It's not a race I'm running," Krzyzewski said. "That's not my goal in coaching. I've been lucky to have a lot of really good players to win ballgames."

Duke (12-1) appeared to be in control early in the second half after taking a 53-34 bulge on a 3-pointer by King with 15:14 left to play.

But the Blue Devils went scoreless for nearly eight minutes to temporarily allow the Owls back in the game, missing 13 consecutive shots as Temple went on an 11-0 run to closed within 53-45 with 8:02 remaining. Dionte Christmas scored nine of the points during the spurt and scored 15 straight Temple points in one stretch.

"(Christmas) really rallied and put us on his back in the second half and he gave us a chance to cut (the deficit) to eight points," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said.

However, that would be as close as Temple could get as Duke responded with an 8-0 run of its own - going 6-for-6 from the free-throw line - to take a 61-45 lead, and the Blue Devils led by double digits for the remainder of the contest.

"It doesn't happen very often, but what happened to us for those eight minutes can happen to any team," Krzyzewski said. "They played good defense. The crowd's into it. You just can't seem to hit a basket."

Duke made 14-of-16 free throws during the second half to help offset 32 percent (8-of-25) shooting over the final 20 minutes.

The Atlantic 10 conference leading scorer, Christmas netted 23 points and Mark Tyndale had 20 to lead the Owls (6-7), who shot just 36 percent (20-of-55) from the floor.

"Duke's a good program. That's a team of runs," Christmas said. "Those guys made a good run and we didn't answer. We played poor transition defense and those guys capitalized on that."

Duke held a slim 18-16 lead with 8:10 left in the opening period before the Blue Devils held the Owls without a field goal for six minutes during a 19-4 run, giving them a 37-20 bulge with 2:23 left in the half. Nelson had all eight of his first-half points during the run as Duke held a 16-point halftime lead.

"I think our execution offensively was pretty good the whole night," Nelson said. "We got great shots. We had times where those shots didn't go in, but one thing that was constant all night was our defensive presence. That's what kept us the lead."

The Blue Devils were forced to go to a smaller lineup rotation due to injuries suffered recently. Chief among them was 7-1 center Brian Zoubek, who is out indefinitely after suffering a fractured left foot in practice on Monday and is from the Philadelphia area.

"I was really disappointed for Brian," Krzyzewski said. "Brian would have started tonight. He's from this area, southern New Jersey. We don't know how long he's gonna be out."

    --- --- -----
    DUKE (7) 39 35 74
    TEMPLE 23 41 64 FINAL

    Jan 9 9:11 PM

    NCAA BB (7) DUKE 39

    Jan 9 7:55 PM
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    metsfan31 Added 5 roots

    Duke(7) vs. TempleJan 9 7:37 AM