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DURHAM, NC - Senior forward Kyle Singler played like an All-American, scoring a game-high 28 points to lead top-ranked Duke (26-2) to a 78-61 win over #24/24 Temple Wednesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The win extended the Blue Devils nation's best home court win streak to 35 games, and upped its home win streak against non-conference foes to 86 games, also tops in Division I. Senior forward Lavoy Allen led Temple with 17 points and 13 rebounds, his seventh double-double of the season. Temple, which fell to 21-6, had its eight-game win streak snapped with the loss.
Playing without two starters in juniors Micheal Eric and Scootie Randall, the undermanned Owls held their own against the heavily-favored Blue Devils throughout the opening 20 minutes. Junior Rahlir Jefferson freshman Aaron Brown, who were making their third and second starts, respectively, combined for nine of TU's first 12 points as the Cherry and White led 12-11 at the 12 minute mark.
Duke then started to flex its muscles, running off eight straight points, four by freshman guard Tyler Thornton, to take a 19-12 advantage. Jefferson, who scored 10 of his 11 points in the first half, ended the run with a lay-up off an Allen assist and then, following two Singler free throws, made another bucket in the lane to make It 21-16.
Sophomore T.J. DiLeo then made a nice lay-up in traffic off one of Jefferson's career and game high six assists, to cut the deficit to 21-18.
Neither team could find the basket over the next two minutes before sophomore Andre Dawkins drained a three-pointer. Allen, who opened the scoring for Temple with one of his career-best three treys, finished a nice pass from DiLeo. Singler and DiLeo then traded baskets before sophomore Seth Curry's trey at the buzzer found the bottom of the net to give Duke a 31-24 edge at the break.
Held to 37 percent shooting in the opening stanza, the Blue Devils came out of the locker room on fire. Singler, Curry and Nolan Smith (15 points) combined on a 7-2 run over the opening two minutes and change to extend the margin to 38-26 forcing Temple coach Fran Dunphy to call timeout.
The teams played even over the next four minutes until the Blue Devils ran off six straight points, the last four coming on power dunks by 6-10 sophomore forward Mason Plumlee made it 51-35 with 12:34 remaining.
The Owls never recovered and were unable to cut the margin below 12 the rest of the way.
Jefferson (40 minutes) and Allen (39) played nearly the entire game with Allen finally giving way for graduate student Dutch Gaitley in the final minute.
Duke's defense held the Owls to 36.1 percent from the field in the second half while the Blue Devils scorched the nets at 54.8 percent for the frame.
The Blue Devils missed only one free throw (16-17) while the Owls struggle with eight-of-13 shooting from the charity stripe.
Ramone Moore and Juan Fernandez each contributed eight points, but early foul trouble to both guards limited their effectiveness.
The Owls next travel to George Washington for a Saturday afternoon game against the Colonials. The contest, which tips off at 2:00 p.m., will be televised live by Comcast SportsNet and can be heard on 1340 AM WHAT.