Duke needs second-half charge to push past Georgetown

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Greg Paulus has spent the start of his sophomore season recovering from a foot injury. That makes the already tough job of being Duke's point guard even tougher.

He didn't miss any games, but there was always the postgame talk of when would we see the old Greg Paulus.

According to his coach, there was a better version on display Saturday night than the one who led the Atlantic Coast Conference in assists last season.

Paulus scored all 13 of his points in the second half and led the Blue Devils' (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today; No. 11 AP) impressive defensive effort over the final 20 minutes in a 61-52 victory over No. 18 Georgetown.

"That was better than the old Greg," Mike Krzyzewski said. "The old Greg was good. Those plays he made in the second half were of a sophomore Greg. Those are the plays he'll make now that's he's coming back from the injury."

Paulus had other things than the injury on his mind.

"In that kind of game, you're thinking about what do I have to do to help us? Do I have to get a long rebound? Do I have to double-team in the post?" he said. "I wasn't thinking abut my foot at all."

Josh McRoberts had 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Duke. Freshman Jon Scheyer had all nine of his points in the second half when the Blue Devils (7-1) played some impressive defense over the final 11 1/2 minutes, holding the Hoyas (4-3) to two field goals over that span.

"There was a big difference in execution in the second half," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "We had to keep the ball moving and do a better job and just play, and they did a better job. They didn't play us as tight. They definitely changed what they were doing, which is why we tried to change what we were doing at the same time, but it didn't turn out as we wanted."

Jessie Sapp had 13 points for the Hoyas, whose other losses were both at home.

The Blue Devils, who came into the game allowing just 52.3 points per game, extended their nonconference home winning streak to 46 games, second in the country to Oklahoma's 48, but they didn't take the lead for good until there was 4:55 to play.

"It was just one of those good Saturday nights to be in here and we were fortunate to win," Krzyzewski said.

Georgetown shot 57.7 percent in the first half in taking a 34-27 lead and the Hoyas were still leading 43-39 with 11:28 to go when Duke turned up the defense and allowed just the two field goals the rest of the way, one a tip-in with 43 seconds left.

Georgetown shot just 26.1 percent (6-for-23) in the second half as Duke no longer allowed the Hoyas layups on backdoors or easy shots down low. The Blue Devils made the Hoyas work on each possession and suddenly Duke was able to start hitting shots in the second half, especially Paulus and Scheyer, who scored 16 straight points for the Blue Devils in the stretch where they took the lead for good.

"Once we started to score a little bit, they had to slow it down and we really made them run their sets," Scheyer said. "They really didn't know what to do. We were putting good pressure on the ball and playing really good team defense."

Duke was 9-for-16 from the field in the second half and the backcourt tandem of Paulus and Scheyer, a freshman, were 6-for-8 after going a combined 0-for-4 in the first half.

Roy Hibbert, Georgetown's 7-foot-2 center, scored on a drive with 6:27 to go to give the Hoyas a 49-47 lead.

Paulus made two free throws to tie it 15 seconds later, and his driving layup after he tipped a long rebound to himself gave the Blue Devils the lead for good with 4:55 left.

Georgetown then committed two of its 11 second-half turnovers on the next three possessions and the 6-1 Paulus drove around Hibbert for a 54-50 lead, sending the crowd at Cameron Indoor Stadium into a frenzy.

"Greg finished a couple of times on drives and those were manly finishes," Krzyzewski said.

Paulus said he tipped the rebound to avoid being called for a travel then took advantage of a seam he saw when Georgetown wasn't able to set up defensively.

"It was a tight game and a great game," Paulus said. "Those are the games we like to play in, where we're making those kind of plays to help us win. I did feel comfortable out there and it feels good to win."

Thompson said his team "has to get better."

"It's hard to sit here after a disappointing loss and say we showed progress, but in a lot of areas I think we did," he said. "Now we just have to keep moving forward."

The Hoyas beat then-No. 1 Duke 87-84 last season to end the Blue Devils' 17-game winning streak. Paulus turned the ball over with 4 seconds left in that game and Duke never got the chance to tie.

Hibbert had 11 points and six rebounds for Georgetown. Jeff Green had eight points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

The win moved Krzyzewski into 10th place alone on the career victory list with No. 760. He had been tied with former Western Kentucky coach Ed Diddle.