Henderson, Duke hold off Wake Forest rallyFeb 23, 2009 - 5:24 AM DURHAM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Duke needed every bit of its large first-half lead to hang on. Gerald Henderson and Jon Scheyer was most of the reason why.
Henderson poured in a career-high 35 points and Scheyer had a career-best 30 as No. 9 Duke outlasted eighth-ranked Wake Forest, 101-91, on Sunday.
Henderson easily surpassed his previous career high of 25 points - set earlier this season - as the senior shot 11-of-15 from the floor and 12-of-14 from the foul line.
"I was just seeing gaps in the defense," Henderson said. "We put in a couple of new plays and I just saw some gaps.
"The last couple of games I've been shooting a lot of free throws and just trying to draw fouls. For me, that's a big thing - if you want to have big games, you have to get to the free throw line."
Scheyer surpassed his career high of 27 and the duo became the first pair of Duke players to each score 30 points since 1980.
"In this game we could've gone to sixth place or we could've gone to second place, and we knew how big of a game that was for us because we still want to be in the hunt for the ACC title," Scheyer said. "We're still in it with that win."
Duke (22-5, 8-4 ACC) led by as many as 22 in the first half but saw its advantage get trimmed to 80-78 with 7:40 to play on freshman Al-Farouq Aminu's alley-oop dunk.
But the Blue Devils tightened up defensively and Henderson capped a 13-4 run with a step-back 3-pointer from the top of the arc to give Duke a 93-82 advantage with 3:10 remaining. Scheyer made a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 12 on Duke's next possession and Wake Forest never got closer than seven the rest of the way.
"Wow, that was a great game," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "There were so many amazing performances tonight. That was as good a game as there's been in the ACC this year - offensively, anyway. Our kids have been practicing real hard, and they played really hard tonight."
Jeff Teague scored 28 points and James Johnson had 26 and 11 rebounds to pace the Demon Deacons (20-5, 7-5), who have lost four straight road games.
"I thought it was a typical ACC basketball game late in the season," Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio said.
"I will say this: If someone would have said we were going to score 91 points and we lose, I think I would have called them a liar. I thought our kids played very, very hard. They never dipped their heads one time."
Wake Forest had success when it shot the ball (61 percent) but it was 16 first-half turnovers that allowed Duke to take a huge lead early on.
Freshman Elliot Williams had a dunk, Greg Paulus made three free throws and Scheyer had a 3-pointer during a 14-2 run as Duke took a 27-17 lead with 10:01 left in the first half.
"The one thing I've tried not to do here is assume winning - that you assume you're going to win," Krzyzewski said. "Tonight was a huge game for us. It was as big a game as we've had in three years, because we're 7-4 (in the ACC) and the way the schedule is in February and March ... you have to win this game."
Henderson scored 12 straight points at one point as the Blue Devils continued to pour it on, taking advantage of numerous Demon Deacons mistakes. Singler's layup off a steal made it a 41-19 bulge with 6:08 to play in the half, capping a 28-4 burst over a span of nine minutes.
The Demon Deacons tried to fight back as they made seven straight shots - three from the arc - and eventually closed within 51-40 at the break. Teague had 14 points in the final six minutes of the half.
"We turned it over too much," Gaudio said. "Sixteen turnovers in the first half, and that was a real big difference in the game."
Both teams were red-hot in the second half and traded baskets during the opening stages, which saw Wake Forest slowly chip away.
Johnson's dunk cut the deficit to 62-59 with 14:21 left and the Demon Deacons stayed close, but never had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead for the rest of the contest.
Wake Forest took better care of the ball in the second half but still managed to finish with 20 turnovers. Duke had six.
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
WAKE FOREST (8) 40 51 91
DUKE (9) 51 50 101 FINAL
Feb 22 9:55 PM
- NCAA BB
(8) WAKE FOREST 40
(9) DUKE 51 HALFTIME
Feb 22 8:36 PM
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