Duke pulls away late to top Holy Cross
Durham, NC (Sports Network) – Josh McRoberts and DeMarcus Nelson scored 13
points apiece, fighting back from a slow start offensively to lead the No. 7
Duke Blue Devils to a 57-45 win over the Holy Cross Crusaders.
Holy Cross (6-3) held a lead well into the second half, but the Crusaders
never really heated up offensively, and Duke (8-1) fought through a sluggish
start to earn the win.
McRoberts also pulled down six rebounds for the Blue Devils, who won their
fourth straight after their only loss of the season, a 73-62 defeat to
Marquette on November 21.
Keith Simmons was the only Crusader to score double figures on the night, with
13 points and seven rebounds. Torey Thomas scored six and grabbed six boards
for Holy Cross, which has lost two straight and three of four after starting
the season with five straight wins.
The Blue Devils took control of the game with a 16-2 run in the second half
that turned a 34-30 deficit with just over 13 minutes remaining to a 46-36
advantage on a Gerald Henderson three with 9:37 left. Holy Cross never got
closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Holy Cross took advantage of a slow start by the Blue Devils to take an early
lead. Duke shot only 32 percent (8-of-25) from the field in the first half,
and only hit one of six from behind the three-point line. The Crusaders
weren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut either, and they matched Duke’s 12
first half turnovers with 12 of their own.
“Our offense is always a little bit better in the second half when we have
more control over it,” said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “We need that
leadership when it’s on the other end. We just have to get better.”
A McRoberts jumper put the Blue Devils up 19-16 with 6:28 left in the first
half. Duke wouldn’t hit another field goal for almost six minutes, though, and
Holy Cross went on a 10-1 run, taking a 26-20 lead in a Simmons dunk with just
over a minute left in the half.
Holy Cross led 28-22 at the half.
Oklahoma’s home loss to Villanova Wednesday ended it’s 49-game home winning
streak over non-conference opponents, vaulting Duke to the top spot, with 47
straight wins…Holy Cross hit only 3-of-16 from behind the arc…Duke only
shot 48.1 percent (13-of-27) from the free-throw line…Duke outrebounded Holy