Big Favorite Duke Only Slightly Favored by Bettors Over San Jose St
Team Page: San Jose State :: Duke
The fifth-ranked Blue Devils host San Jose State on Sunday in the first of two home games before their conference schedule begins.
Duke (11-1) has won 49 straight home games against non-conference teams, the longest streak in the nation and 15 games better than Sam Houston State. The Blue Devils haven't lost at Cameron Indoor Stadium to a non-ACC team since St. John's won 83-82 there on Feb. 26, 2000.
Duke has won 33 straight in December and is 61-3 in the month since 1996-97. The Blue Devils haven't lost in December since an 84-83 defeat to No. 3 Stanford in 2000, when Duke was the top-ranked team in the country.
The Blue Devils host Temple on Tuesday before beginning conference play. They've started 9-0 at home for the 10th straight season and are 152-12 there in the last 10 years.
Duke ran its overall winning streak to seven with a 61-54 win over then-No. 22 Gonzaga on Dec. 21 at Madison Square Garden. Greg Paulus had a career-high 20 points and the Blue Devils committed a season-low six turnovers, helping them overcome 34.5 percent shooting.
Paulus had to get five stitches in his chin after diving onto a courtside table chasing after a loose ball. He has been bothered by a foot injury and illness at various times this season, but has come through with two of his best games in Duke's last two wins.
``Right after exams I said, 'OK. The season starts now. Don't take anything you've had with you forward,''' Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said of his talk with Paulus last weekend. ``He was terrific. I told him the stitches made him better looking.''
Josh McRoberts had 11 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and three steals, recording his first double-double of the season and the third of his career.
``When Greg and I are on the same page it's going to be good for our team,'' McRoberts said. ``Obviously he played great and when he does he's one of one of the big parts of our playing well.''
Duke is 2-0 against current members of the WAC, but hasn't played a team from the conference since a win over Fresno State in 1998. This is its first meeting with San Jose State (1-10), which is facing its highest-ranked team since a 71-49 loss to No. 12 Utah on Feb. 18, 1999.
The Spartans have beaten a top 5 opponent twice in school history, but not since 1973. They haven't defeated a ranked team since Dec. 27, 1996, when they knocked off No. 19 Alabama 60-59 in overtime.
San Jose State has since lost 11 straight to Top 25 teams and doesn't appear close to beating a ranked squad anytime soon. The Spartans have lost seven games by at least 10 points this season and are shooting only 38.7 percent from the field.
San Jose State had its best shooting performance of the year against Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 23, hitting 46.9 percent of its shots, but allowed the Titans to shoot 53.4 percent in a 104-77 loss.
That was the first of four straight road games for the Spartans, who are 0-7 away from home this season and 8-66 on the road since the start of the 2001-02 season.
by: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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