St. John's-Duke Preview

Updated: December 4, 2009, 6:26 PM ET
Associated Press

After seeing one winning streak end, Duke must regroup to keep another one alive.

The sixth-ranked Blue Devils try to continue their domination at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday in a matchup with undefeated St. John's, which handed them their last home loss to a non-conference opponent almost a decade ago.

Duke (6-1) is coming off a 73-69 defeat at Wisconsin on Wednesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Blue Devils had won all 10 of their previous games in the event. They trailed the entire way against the Badgers, however.

Duke had allowed an average of 58.2 points over its previous six wins and hadn't allowed an opponent to shoot better than 40 percent. Wisconsin shot 53.3 percent in the first half and led by 11 in the second.

The Blue Devils would work their way back, with Andre Dawkins going 4 of 4 from 3-point range in the second half. With the Badgers up by three in the final seconds, though, Kyle Singler's inbounds pass to Jon Scheyer went out of bounds.

Singler finished with a career-high 28 points -- 17 in the first half -- while Scheyer had 10 -- nearly six below his season average.

"I don't think we did a good job of just staying patient. They did a good job, didn't give us a lot of open looks and there just wasn't much there," Scheyer said. "We need to know that every game we play, no one's going to give us a game, every team's going to fight."

Freshman Mason Plumlee played 10 minutes in his first game since fracturing his wrist. The 6-foot-10 McDonald's All-American was projected to be a starter before the injury. He missed his only field-goal attempt.

After losing their first true road game, the Blue Devils figure to be much more comfortable back at Cameron, where they have won an NCAA-record 72 straight non-conference games, including four this season by an average of 34.5 points. Their last loss to a non-ACC foe was Feb. 26, 2000, when St. John's shocked then-No. 2 Duke 83-82.

Duke has since won four straight at home over the Red Storm (6-0), and six in a row overall.

The Blue Devils will be looking to spoil St. John's best start since winning its first seven games in 1994-95. The Red Storm, though, have yet to face a major conference opponent and they have lost 25 straight road games against ranked teams since a win at Boston College on Jan. 17, 2002.

They're coming off a 63-55 victory over Stony Brook on Wednesday as D.J. Kennedy continued his hot start with 19 points. He was 3 of 5 from 3-point range and is averaging a team-leading 17.7 points.

While St. John's is off to an impressive start, it's shooting 36.3 percent over the last two games while averaging 16.0 turnovers. Getting Paris Horne to start heating up would certainly help the Red Storm try to match Duke's depth. The junior averaged a team-high 14.6 points last season but has been held to 7.3 while shooting 37.5 percent this season.

"This is a great opportunity for us to play a great team," coach Norm Roberts told the Red Storm's official Web site. "We have to make the best of it and lay it all on the line in a team way. We can't win with one guy. It has to be all 12 guys and we need to play as hard as we can."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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