by Rob Rowe
CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM Duke returns home after a brief Christmas break, hosting a Big West team that has had a rigorous schedule.
Long Beach State's schedule is ranked third nationally headed into tonight's contest.
The Blue Devils take the lead at 19:13 of the first half and never let go, rolling to a 84-63 victory.
Duke now stands 10-1, with its only loss at Wisconsin in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Long Beach drops to one game below .500 with tonight's loss.
Duke has five players who score in double digits including Jon Scheyer (22), Nolan Smith (19) and Kyle Singler (14). Brian Zoubek notches his third career double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, while Lance Thomas also has 10 points.
Larry Anderson hits 14 to lead three Long Beach players in double figures.
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski:
On the game:
"I thought we beat a good team tonight, a team that's trained hard, probably harder than anyone in the country. Initially I thought we played great. We let up defensively once we got a really commanding lead and we never got back to the level of defense that we played at the beginning of the game till the end of the game. I thought our two backcourt kids [Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith] were terrific to have 14 assists and 0 turnovers in this game. They have good quickness and they just took good care of the ball. Overall, I thought we played well or else we wouldn't win. They (Long Beach State) keep a lot of pressure with their quickness. We did a good job on [T.J.] Robinson because he's actually been 18 and 13 and he's done it against Kentucky and Notre Dame, West Virginia and UCLA and Clemson. That's the schedule that these guys have played, so they weren't in awe of anybody. They weren't going to back down. I thought, especially in the second half, they played really well. Coming off the break, overall I thought we did well. We did a good job."
On Senior Brian Zoubek:
"He's tough inside. He's a beast. For us, especially with ACC play, we need him to play like that. He's so reliable inside with rebounding and protecting our basket, so we know what he's going to bring to us and we know how we can rely on him. He's always been tough, but I think he knows what he can and can't do. You don't see him getting traveling calls or moving screens—that's just him playing with intelligence. He's a really smart player. He'll bang and gives us that physical presence inside."
Stars of the Game:
1. Duke's Brian Zoubek
2. Duke's Jon Scheyer
3. Long Beach State's Larry Anderson
Duke leads 2-0.
Duke: Thursday vs. Pennsylvania
Long Beach State: Saturday vs. UC Riverside