No. 7 Duke tops Long Beach State 84-63

By JOEDY McCREARY

AP Sports Writer

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Jon Scheyer scored

22 points, Nolan Smith added 19 and No. 7 Duke beat Long Beach State

84-63 on Tuesday night.

Kyle Singler added 14 points for the

Blue Devils (10-1), who led by 26 points, shot 47.1 percent, blocked a

season-high 10 shots and were 15 of 26 from 3-point range.

Larry Anderson scored 14 points for

Long Beach State (6-7), which couldn’t get closer than 13 points in the

second half and lost its third straight. The 49ers have been beaten by

four Top Ten opponents so far.

Senior big men Lance Thomas and Brian

Zoubek had 10 points apiece for Duke, which went up by double figures

to stay before the 49ers made their third field goal and went on to win

its fourth straight. The Blue Devils showed little rust from the

nine-day break that followed their 35-point rout of Gonzaga and

extended a few streaks at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Duke – which had only one previous

home game decided by fewer than 25 points – has won 75 straight

nonconference games at Cameron, 35 in a row here against unranked teams

and 48 straight at home in December.

The backcourt of Scheyer and Smith,

who combined for 44 points in the Gonzaga rout, did it again this time.

They were a combined 15 of 32 from the field, had 10 3s between them

and helped the Blue Devils pick up a few strength-of-schedule points

against a tested Long Beach State team.

One unofficial online replication of

the RPI formula determined that the 49ers played the nation’s toughest

schedule, having lost to No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Kentucky and No. 6 West

Virginia by an average of 23 points and failing to keep it closer than

13 against any of them.

Long Beach State was coming off an

86-73 loss to Kentucky in which the 49ers were tied at halftime, but

this time, the Blue Devils weren’t about to let them hang around nearly

that long.

Duke used a 27-7 run to build a 27-9

lead, with the burst highlighted by two 3s from Scheyer and an

impressive display of athleticism from Smith – who blocked Casper

Ware’s 3-pointer before hustling downcourt to take a pretty feed from

Singler and hitting a layup to push the Blue Devils’ lead into double

figures to stay.

That was just one in a bonanza of

blocks for Duke. With 5 minutes before the break, Long Beach State had

more shots blocked (seven) than made (five) – and that helps explain

why the 49ers managed just two field goals during a span of roughly 11

minutes.

Conversely, there were times when the Blue Devils seemingly couldn’t miss from long range.

Six consecutive Duke field goals

late in the first half were 3s, including four in a 3 1/2-minute span

and two 26 seconds apart by freshman Andre Dawkins that stretched the

lead to 42-16 with just under 4 minutes left.

Updated December 29, 2009