Marquette
5Duke
73 - 77 Final
  for this game

Singler helps Duke win fourth Maui Invitational tournament

Nov 22, 2007 - 7:40 AM MAUI, Hawaii (Ticker) -- Duke became the first school to win four Maui Invitational tournaments on Wednesday night. But it wasn't easy.

Tournament MVP Kyle Singler scored 25 points and DeMarcus Nelson added 16 as No. 10 Duke slipped past No. 13 Marquette with a 77-73 victory in Hawaii.

The Blue Devils leave the island with another Maui title and remain a perfect 12-0 all-time in the Invitational. Duke also won the tournament in 1992, 1997 and 2001.

"We look at it as a mini-Cameron, it's nice and intimate," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We love coming here and have been a little bit lucky and our guys have played really tough."

Duke never trailed by more than four points during the game, but also never led by more than six during the final 13:45. The contest featured 10 ties and seven lead changes.

After Lazar Hayward made one free throw to cut the Marquette deficit to 73-71 with 1:13 to play, Gerald Henderson converted two free throws to make it a two-possession game with under a minute left.

Jerel McNeal made a layup to cut the deficit back to two before Singler hit two free throws to give Duke a four-point advantage with 13 seconds to play.

"I felt honored to win the MVP, but the main goal coming to Maui was to win the championship and that's what we accomplished," Singler said.

Duke (5-0) had won its previous four games by 31.3 points per game and it was the first contest that it has won by single digits this season.

Marquette (4-1) was led by Hayward, who scored 14 points. Wesley Matthews added 12, as did Dominic James, who shot just 4-of-17 from the field.

"Even though we didn't get what our goal was, it was a fantastic experience for our team," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "Both teams brought out the toughness in each other. Tonight, their strengths were a little too good for us - their driving, they got too many free throws and the rebounding.

"We will come out of here with a much broader and greater perspective of what we are as a basketball team."

After a back-and-forth opening 11 minutes, Duke used a 17-5 run to take its largest lead of the first half at 39-30. Singler and Nelson combined for 26 points in the first half to help the Blue Devils take a 43-36 lead at the break.

Marquette climbed back in front with a 10-0 run capped by a Matthews layup to take a 54-52 lead with 12:40 to play.

Greg Paulus made a 3-pointer followed by a Lance Thomas layup as Duke stretched the lead it would never relinquish to 67-61 lead with 6:03 remaining.

"This was special for this team," Nelson said. "It was a chance for us to be a champion. We talked about that since the beginning of the year.

"It was our first chance to be a champion. At this time last year we didn't do that. We've improved and gotten better."