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February 22, 2007

No help needed as Duke beats Clemson

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CLEMSON, S.C. -Jon Scheyer scored 18 points to help No. 18 Duke win its 21st straight over Clemson 71-66 on Thursday night - without any late help with the game clock.

When these teams met last month at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the Blue Devils' 68-66 victory was helped when officials incorrectly added time at the end - the extra seconds more than enough for David McClure's winning layup.

This time, Duke (21-7, 8-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) opened a 21-point halftime lead and hung on as Clemson (19-8, 5-8) came within 69-64 in the final minute.

Scheyer, though, hit two foul shots with 5.7 seconds left to put the game away.

DeMarcus Nelson had 16 points and Greg Paulus added 14 for the Blue Devils, who have won three straight since a four-game losing streak.

Cliff Hammonds and Vernon Hamilton had 14 points each for Clemson, which has lost eight of 10 games since starting the season 17-0.

The sold-out crowd at Littlejohn Coliseum hadn't forgotten the clock problems of last time. Several students wore large clocks around their necks - ala rap personality Flavor Flav.

Duke appeared to make the clock issue moot, outscoring the Tigers 29-8 the final 12 minutes of the first half to take a large lead into the locker room.

Nelson had all 11 of his first-half points during Duke's large run. His foul shot started the spurt - and put the Blue Devils ahead for good, 14-13. By the time, Nelson drove in for a layup with 1:26 left before the half, Duke was up 36-17.

The Tigers missed 13 straight shots during the run and finished the half with only six field goals.

As cold as Clemson was in the first half, it came out hot after the break. The Tigers made 10 of their first 14 field goals - led by Hamilton's 10 points - and they sliced the lead to 47-42 with 10:14 to go.

Scheyer's 3-pointer finished an 8-2 run by Duke that rebuilt the lead to 59-47.

Clemson, though, made one final run with K.C. Rivers' 3-pointer cutting it to 69-64 with six seconds left. That's when Scheyer finished things off with his foul shots. He was a perfect 5-of-5 at the foul line.

For more coverage of Duke, visit DevilsIllustrated.com; for more on Clemson, visit TigersIllustrated.com.

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