DeMarcus Nelson has shared the spotlight with younger players this season, but the senior grabbed some of the limelight for himself last night.
Nelson scored 23 points and No. 6 Duke turned in a sharp offensive performance after an exam break to beat visiting Albany, 111-70, last night.
Reserve Jon Scheyer added 18 points for the Blue Devils (10-0), who shot 60 percent and quickly turned this game into a rout. Duke had five players score in double figures and hit 15 of 26 three-pointers, continuing its strong outside shooting of recent games.
"I thought DeMarcus played very, very well, but he has been," coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "He's been our most consistent excellent player. It's just that his thing goes below the radar because this freshman did this or this guy's doing that . . . DeMarcus has been the solid one."
Nelson went 6-for-7 from the field, including 4-for-5 from three-point range, to go with six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in 26 minutes. The 23 points were one shy of tying a career-high for the 6-4 swingman, who had seen his scoring average dip from 14.1 last season to 11.7 coming in.
"I try not to put too much emphasis on scoring even though I can score and I will score," Nelson said. "I just try to go out there and be a player and whatever the play is to make it. And at the end of the game, I think the performance will speak for itself."
Duke improved to 10-0 for the sixth time in eight seasons, while Krzyzewski earned his 785th career victory to move within a game of tying Lefty Driesell for sixth on the all-time list.
Tim Ambrose's career-best 24 points led the Great Danes (5-5).
In other games:
* At Marquette, Dominic James had 17 points and six assists as the No. 10 Golden Eagles (8-1) beat Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, 80-56.
* At Gonzaga, Austin Daye had 18 points to lead the No. 18 Bulldogs (9-2), 77-57, over Northern Colorado.
* At Miami, Brian Asbury had 18 points as the No. 22 Hurricanes (10-0) beat Stetson, 89-53.
* At Southern California, Dwight Lewis scored 18 points as the No. 25 Trojans (7-3) defeated Delaware State, 83-54.
In women's games:
* At Coastal Carolina, LaToya Pringle had season highs of 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead No. 3 North Carolina (11-1), 82-58.
* At Connecticut, Tina Charles had 23 points and 10 rebounds as the No. 2 Huskies (8-0) routed South Carolina, 97-39, but lost starting forward Kalana Greene to what team officials called a severe knee injury.
* At Georgia, Danielle Taylor scored a career-high 22 points to lead the No. 7 Bulldogs (10-0) over Mercer, 102-45.
* With North Carolina No. 1 for the seventh consecutive week, the Top 15 teams in the Associated Press poll held their spots from last week.
Memphis was second, followed by Kansas, Texas, Georgetown, Duke, Washington State, UCLA, Michigan State and Marquette.
Pittsburgh was 11th followed by Tennessee, Indiana, Texas A & M, Clemson, Butler, Vanderbilt, Gonzaga, Arizona and Villanova. The last five ranked teams were BYU, Miami, Oregon, West Virginia and Southern California.
The top nine women's teams held steady, with Tennessee at No. 1, followed by Connecticut, North Carolina, Maryland, Stanford, Rutgers, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma and Texas A & M.
* Stanford forward Brook Lopez regained his academic eligibility and can return to competition, beginning with tomorrow night's home game with Santa Clara. *