Sunday , Feb , 25 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Blue Devils in the Big Apple to take on Red Storm

New York, NY (Sports Network) – The 18th-ranked Duke Blue Devils are
playing with a tremendous amount of confidence, and they will take
on the St. John’s Red Storm this afternoon in non-conference action
from New York’s famed Madison Square Garden.

Duke has won its last three games to move to 21-7 overall and 8-6 in
league play. On Thursday, the Blue Devils recorded a 71-66 decision over
Clemson to move one game above .500 in league play. After today’s clash,
Duke will close out the regular season against Maryland and North Carolina.

St. John’s has lost its last two games to fall to 6-9 in Big East
Conference action, overshadowing a more positive 15-13 overall record.
The Red Storm were completely manhandled on Wednesday, as they dropped
a 72-48 decision to Louisville on the road.

Duke holds a 10-5 lead in the all-time series with St. John’s.

Four of the five Duke starters scored in double figures in Thursday’s
victory over Clemson. Jon Scheyer scored 18 points on 5-of-6 shooting from
the field, including 3-of-3 from behind the arc. DeMarcus Nelson posted 16
points in the clash, and Greg Paulus finished with 14 points and six assists.
On a down note, Paulus committed a staggering total of nine turnovers.
The forth and final double-digit scorer was Josh McRoberts with 10 points.
The Blue Devils shot 52.2 percent from the floor, including 7-of-14 from
three-point range, and they outscored the Tigers 16-9 from the foul line.
Nelson leads the team in scoring with 14.1 ppg, and McRoberts checks in with
13.0 ppg. Scheyer, just a freshman, adds 12.5 ppg to the mix, and Paulus
rounds out the group with 10.2 ppg. A couple of weeks ago, some fans and
analysts were talking about the possibility of Duke missing the NCAA
Tournament. Clearly, all that speculation has ceased.

Nothing seemed to go right for St. John’s in the ugly loss to Louisville
the last time out. The Red Storm shot 26.3 percent from the floor in the
contest, including 7-of-28 from three-point range. They also turned the
ball over 16 times and played shaky defense. Anthony Mason led St. John’s with
19 points and eight rebounds, while Lamont Hamilton pitched in 12 points and
nine rebounds. Hamilton leads the team with 13.5 ppg and 6.8 rpg, and
Mason checks in with 11.5 ppg. The third and final double-digit scorer in
the lineup is Avery Patterson with 10.9 ppg. St. John’s is netting only
63.8 ppg on 41 percent shooting from the field, and poor offensive
production has played a major role in the team’s struggles.