65 - 77 Final
  for this game

Singler sparks Duke over Maryland

Feb 14, 2008 - 4:40 AM DURHAM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Duke relied on a familiar formula to keep its winning streak intact.

Freshman Kyle Singler scored a season-high 26 points to lift the second-ranked Blue Devils to a 77-65 victory over Maryland in the Atlantic Coast Conference on Wednesday.

Greg Paulus added 20 points for Duke (22-1, 10-0 ACC), which hit 12-of-25 3-pointers to complete a season sweep of the Terrapins and notch its 12th consecutive victory.

Singler finished 10-of-17 from the floor, including 6-of-9 from the arc, as the Blue Devils regrouped in the second half after blowing most of a 16-point lead.

"Kyle, the last three weeks, has gone to another level," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "Forget about (ACC) freshman of the week he's one of the better players in the league now. He brings tremendous versatility, competitiveness and toughness. He can shoot, defend, pass and he's a winner.

"He's got it all and it's just a matter of physical maturity now. He's a young body, but he doesn't have a young heart."

A 3-pointer by Singler 51 seconds into the half ballooned Duke's lead to 46-30 and it appeared a rout was on, but leading scorer Greivis Vasquez scored nine points as Maryland (16-9, 6-4) rallied and cut the deficit to 54-51 with 11 1/2 minutes to play.

"Vasquez kept pushing the ball to start the game, and we couldn't keep them out of our paint for about six to eight minutes," Krzyzewski said.

Jon Scheyer broke a five-minute scoring drought for the Blue Devils with a 3-pointer to boost the lead back to six but the Terrapins pulled within 57-54 on James Gist's dunk with 7:54 left.

Singler then took matters into his own hands, scoring seven points in an 11-2 run - including his sixth 3-pointer - to restore the lead back into double digits at 68-57 with 4:07 to play.

"Right now I'm just feeling more comfortable on the court," Singler said. "I'm seeing more things, whether it's the practice or the game's slowing down, I'm picking up my shots and picking up my reads a lot quicker."

Scheyer finished with 13 points and DeMarcus Nelson added 12 for Duke, which rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit to beat Maryland, 93-84, on January 27.

"Scheyer - you want to call him (a starter)," Terps coach Gary Williams said. "I read all those articles where he's really happy not starting. He's a starter in the league. Scheyer's a starter as far as I'm concerned. How many of those (bench) points did he have? He had 13 so 'the bench' got two. Scheyer's a legitimate player."

Vasquez scored 25 points and Bambale Osby had 13 for the Terrapins, who connected on just 3-of-13 pointers.

The Blue Devils got off to a much better start in this one.

With Duke leading by just 15-13, Paulus sandwiched a pair of shots from the arc around a 3-pointer by Singler to open a seven-point lead.

Singler hit his third 3-pointer - and Duke's seventh - of the first half to build the margin to 35-22 with 4:13 left before Maryland closed within 41-30 at the break.

Paulus had 15 of his 20 points in the opening half as he combined with Singler to shoot 9-of-15 from the floor.

"I think we're a very confident team, and I think our experiences this year have allowed us to be," Paulus said. "We understand what to do in certain situations. We're going to be confident at all times."