• 41°

College basketball: Duke 73, Temple 55

By Bret Strelow

Salisbury Post

DURHAM — DeMarcus Nelson caught the no-look, over-the-shoulder pass in stride and threw home a fastbreak dunk during Duke’s 73-55 victory against Temple.

He scored a layup off a behind-the-back pass two possessions later.

“They were both two great plays coming from two good passers,” Nelson said.

The first feed came from starting point guard Greg Paulus. Fellow sophomore Josh McRoberts, a 6-foot-10 forward, found Nelson the next time.

McRoberts’ all-around play led the fifth-ranked Blue Devils (13-1) past visiting Temple (6-6) on Tuesday night. He scored a career-high 21 points, grabbed nine rebounds, tied for the team lead with four assists and blocked four shots.

“Josh is becoming as unique a player as there is in the country,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “He’s playing with great passion, and he’s a real presence. I’m really proud of where he’s at now, and he can take a few more steps. He’s still very much a developing player.”

McRoberts’ previous high of 19 points came against Kent State two weeks ago, and he posted double-doubles in wins against Gonzaga and San Jose State. He scored 12 of Duke’s first 19 points against Temple two days after enjoying a 15-point, 17-rebound performance.

McRoberts and Paulus entered the Temple game as the only Duke players with more assists than turnovers, and McRoberts increased his team-leading assist total to 59.

“He’s like a point guard on stilts,” Krzyzewski said. “He has a different vision, so he sees more.”

McRoberts’ strong start coincided with an early comeback.

Temple led 16-4 after 41/2 minutes but scored 12 points the rest of the half. McRoberts picked up his second foul with 4:17 left in the period, and the Blue Devils used a 7-0 run in the final two minutes to break free from a 28-all tie.

Duke had outscored its opponents by a total of only six points in the first half of its last six games, but a layup and 3-pointer from Paulus created some breathing room against the Owls.

“Greg’s 3-pointer in the last forty seconds was probably the big shot in the game,” Krzyzewski said. “Our rebounding was also a big factor.”

Former Statesville-area standout Dion Dacons led Temple with nine boards, but the Blue Devils finished with a 49-28 rebounding advantage.

Nelson collected a career-high 11 rebounds to go along with 14 points, and David McClure had a career-high 12 rebounds in his first start of the season. Brian Zoubek scored all eight of his points and grabbed five of his six boards in 10 first-half minutes.

The two highlight-reel plays involving Nelson occurred during a 14-4 run that pushed Duke ahead 61-43 with about six minutes remaining.

McRoberts followed Paulus’ flashy assist with a 3-pointer, then whipped a baseline pass with his right hand as he posted up on the left block.

“It’s just a normal pass,” McRoberts said. “It’s just a different way to throw it.”


Contact Bret Strelow at 704-797-4258 or bstrelow@salisburypost.com.


Comments closed.


Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases


‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack


Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store


Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem


West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant


Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily

High School

High school softball: Nixon, Walton top all-county team


All Hood Alumni and Friends Symposium scheduled June 18


Shoutouts: Southern City Church awards educational gifts


City to pave streets surrounding Bell Tower Green after park is constructed


Colonial Pipeline restarts operations days after major hack


Ohio’s million-dollar idea: Lottery prizes for vaccinations


GOP dumps defiant Trump critic Cheney from top House post


Israel steps up Gaza offensive, kills senior Hamas figures


Fluctuating COVID-19 death number back to 302 in Rowan County


Habitual felon sentenced to at least 8 years in prison


City of Kannapolis to have bike rodeo Saturday


Two more charged for operating illegal gambling businesses


A.L. Brown celebrates seniors with signing day


Rebounding, but not recovered: Rowan County tourism begins challenging path toward normalcy

High School

High school baseball: Padgett leads Mustangs; 100th win for West coach Graham


RSS superintendent, Board of Health discuss strategies for increasing student vaccination rates


East Spencer charter school files petition to contest charter revocation