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Duke Handles Loyola 92-51
Courtesy: Associated Press
Release: 12/31/2008
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Kyle Singler
Photo Courtesy: Duke Photography
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DURHAM, N.C. - Kyle Singler scored 20 points to help fifth-ranked Duke beat Loyola of Maryland 92-51 on Wednesday despite playing much of the game without starting point guard Nolan Smith.

Gerald Henderson added 19 points for the Blue Devils (11-1), who had no trouble winning their first game after an 11-day break for Christmas. But Duke lost Smith midway through the first half to an apparent left-knee injury, leaving the sophomore to spend most of the day sitting on the bench and wearing an ice bag on his knee.

Still, Duke had too much depth and size against the smaller Greyhounds (4-9), taking a double-digit lead in the first 6 minutes and never looking back. The Blue Devils shot 55 percent and scored 34 points off 24 turnovers to win extend their nonconference winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium to a national-best 66 games, a span of nearly nine years.

Brian Zoubek had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Duke, while Jon Scheyer added 12.

Brian Rudolph had 13 points to lead Loyola, which shot 32 percent for the game.

Loyola came into the game with confidence after a 62-60 loss at another Atlantic Coast Conference school — North Carolina State — on Monday night. In that game, Loyola rallied from an early 18-4 deficit to tie the game at halftime, then cut a 16-point deficit with 8˝ minutes left to a point before missing a shot for the lead in the final seconds.

But the Greyhounds quickly found out that pulling off a similar comeback against Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils just wasn't going to happen.

Duke took an almost identical early lead — 18-5 in this case — to N.C. State, then used a pair of free throws after a technical foul on Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos to start a 12-2 spurt that pushed the lead to 30-12 on a 3-pointer from Henderson with 8:47 to play.

But while the game was already in hand, Duke's fortunes changed on the ensuing possession when Smith fell to the ground after a basket by Rudolph with 8:31 left. He laid on the floor while team medical staff examined his left knee and Krzyzewski stood at his side. Smith eventually got up and limped off the court for further treatment outside.

Smith returned to the bench with 5:15 left, but sat with an ice bag wrapped around the knee. He didn't look like he planned to return, putting on his warmup jersey and standing gingerly at the back of huddles during timeouts. When the team returned for the second half, Smith took a seat wearing his full warmup outfit.

Smith came in averaging 11.5 points and had started 10 of 11 games this season. Senior Greg Paulus, who had started all but eight games in the past three seasons, took over for the Blue Devils and finished with four rebounds and four assists.

Duke led 48-23 at the break and quickly pushed the margin past 30 a few minutes into the second half.