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Duke's Krzyzewski gets 800th win

Mar 1, 2008 - 10:52 PM RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Mike Krzyzewski's 800th coaching victory did not come easy.

DeMarcus Nelson scored 19 points, including a pair of game-winning free throws, as sixth-ranked Duke escaped with an 87-86 victory at North Carolina State in an Atlantic Coast Conference clash Saturday.

It was the third stright win for Duke (25-3, 12-2 ACC) and a milestone victory for Krzyzewski, who became the sixth coach in men's college basketball history to reach the 800-win plateau.

In his 33rd season with the Blue Devils, Krzyzewski has compiled a 800-264 record, including 73 victories as the coach of Army.

"I've been asked about it by so many people, but it's hard to put it into perspective because I'm so busy coaching this team," Krzyzewski said. "Winning 800 games is about so many different teams and so many different players.

"Besides thanking my assistants coaches and players no coach can win without those I'd really like to thank Coach (Bobby) Knight. I was his point guard at Army, and he taught me in a way that I probably didn't like and appreciate at the time. But because of him, I've had so many opportunities to coach with great teams and great players, and to work with some of the greatest coaches ever. I worked with Coach (Henry) Iba. I coached against a great coach in this conference in Dean Smith and learned so much from him. It's because of Coach Knight and all he did for me that I've had the opportunity to win 800 games."

Krzyzewski is the second coach to reach the milestone this season, joining San Francisco's Eddie Sutton, who accomplished it last month.

Trailing by as many as 13 points in the second half, Duke rallied to tie the game, 85-85, on key 3-pointers from Nelson and Greg Paulus, who finished with 15 points.

"You look back at things that happened that could have change things: missed free throws and leaving 3-point shooters open," North Carolina State coach Sidney Lowe said. "All in all, we played well. I told the guys there isn't much I can say. I thought we went in and laid it out today."

With 1:01 to play, Duke took its first lead of the half at 87-86 on a pair of free throws by Nelson.

The Wolfpack (15-14, 4-11) had a chance to regain the edge in their next possession, but Ben McCauley turned the ball over in the offensive zone with 40 seconds left.

North Carolina State opted not to foul, allowing Duke to run the clock down to seven seconds - at which point a well-guarded Jon Scheyer missed a 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down.

NC State got the rebound and frantically pushed the ball up the floor, but McCauley's desperation shot from well beyond the arc was off the mark.

"I thought NC State played superbly," Krzyzewski said. "They outplayed us for 32 minutes. I don't think they play badly in the last eight minutes, but our guys made some great plays, led by DeMarcus Nelson, who has an incredible will to win. Every one of our guys seemed to hit big shots, make big free throws in the last eight minutes."

NC State, which has lost seven in a row, got 19 points from McCauley and 18 from Javier Gonzalez.

Along with his offense, the freshman guard really impressed his coach on the defensive end.

"Amazing. He did an unbelievable job against a great team and against Paulus," Lowe said. "They thought he was doing so well that they put their best defender - Nelson - on him. He's grown up this year and he grew up a lot during this game. I'm proud of him."

Scheyer joined Nelson with 19 points for the Blue Devils, who momentarily are alone atop the ACC. North Carolina, 11-2 in ACC play, visits Boston College later Saturday.

Kyle Singler and Gerald Henderson added 12 points apiece for Duke.