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Freshman Zoubek leads Duke to rout of UNC-Greensboro

Nov 17, 2006 - 2:28 AM DURHAM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Brian Zoubek is standing tall in what looks like another talented freshman class for Duke.

The 7-foot Zoubek scored 11 of his 17 points in the first half when the 10th-ranked Blue Devils built a big lead en route to a 75-48 victory over North Carolina-Greensboro.

After losing National Player of the Year J.J. Redick and center Shelden Williams to the NBA, Duke coach Mike Kryzyzewski is relying on Josh McRoberts and DeMarcus Nelson to lead the team. It would help if the freshman class of Zoubek, Gerald Henderson, Jon Scheyer and Lance Thomas can make a contribution for the Blue Devils.

So far, so good, although Duke (3-0) has played three weak opponents - Columbia, Georgia Southern and UNC-Greensboro - in its first three games. The freshmen have averaged 32 points in the three wins.

"In order to get some frame of reference they have to play a lot of games," Krzyzewski said of the freshmen. "Then you'll find out. For now, let them grow."

Zoubek, who scored 18 in the season opener against Columbia, made 7-of-11 shots. He was 5-of-6 from the field in the first half when Duke built a 45-20 lead.

"I'm just trying to come out and help my team any way I can," Zoubek said. "If that's going to be points or that's going to be rebounds or that's going to be defense, I'm doing whatever. It's a lot better than I expected coming in here."

Henderson finished with 12 points and Nelson and David McClure added 11 apiece for the Blue Devils, who shot 53 percent (31-of-58) while holding UNC-Greensboro (0-3) to 32 percent shooting (18-of-57).

"I thing for us to be successful this year we're all going to have to step up and make plays," McClure said. "We're a young, athletic team and the more people we have doing that, the more successful we're going to be."

Duke extended its non-conference home winning streak to 43 games.

UNC-Greensboro, which is coached by Mike Dement, a former Duke assistant under Krzyzewski, fell to 0-18 against ranked teams since moving to Division I in 1991-92. The Spartans have lost all seven meetings with Duke.

"Duke gave us a lot of problems with Zoubek on that back side," Dement said. "He's just so big and they threw it up to him. On his offensive rebounds, we just didn't have anybody to do much with him one-on-one."

Kyle Hines led UNC-Greensboro with 17 points, but the rest of his teammates made just 10-of-41 shots.

Duke scored the first nine points of the game, increased the advantage to 30-11 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the half and led by as many as 28 points.

Zoubek used his size to power inside for easy baskets and McClure scored all 11 of his points in the first half. A layup by McClure with 2:04 left gave the Blue Devils their biggest lead of the half at 43-15.

UNC-Greensboro showed some fight in the second half, opening the session with a 13-2 run. The Spartans pulled within 54-40 on a 3-pointer by Kevin Olesiak with 10:51 left.

But Henderson converted a pair of layups as Duke went on an 11-4 spurt.

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