No. 2 Duke women take it up a notch in 83-point home rout
Having vanquished a top-10 opponent on the road Sunday, No. 2 Duke played its home opener Thursday night against a team not nearly as talented.
The Blue Devils played as if they didn’t know that fact and South Carolina-Upstate bore the brunt.
Six Duke players scored in double-figures and senior Haley Peters had a memorable night as the Blue Devils trashed USC-Upstate 123-40 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Duke (2-0) opened its season with a 70-58 win at No. 9 California last Sunday. As impressive as that appeared, the driven Blue Devils sought an even higher level of play.
“I think there was a lot we saw on film that we wanted to do better, mainly our defense and rebounding,” Duke senior guard Tricia Liston said. “I think coming off that game we weren’t content with that and wanted to do better, so I think our motivation for (Thursday) and each game is getting better and better.”
Liston turned in a terrific all-around game, leading Duke with 20 points while also grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out six assists.
Duke out-rebounded Upstate 63-24 and limited the Spartans (2-2) to 20.7 percent shooting.
Peters had plenty to do with those numbers.
A 6-1 forward, Peters scored 17 points, recorded three steals and grabbed 20 rebounds. Her rebounding total tied her for the third-most in school history for a single game.
“I was just aggressive, I think,” Peters said. “I wasn’t happy with myself after Cal at all. I just wanted to be aggressive with the ball. It was a goal of mine from the start.”
Duke’s dominance was present from the beginning. Liston scored seven of Duke’s first nine points as the Blue Devils took a 9-2 lead.
Duke led 11-7 when it reeled off 17 consecutive points. The Blue Devils also scored 16 consecutive points on two occasions prior to halftime as they took a 60-18 lead at intermission.
“I’m just happy the team played hard throughout, played focused,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “We were trying to work on things throughout the game and I felt the team kept a good focus. There was a lot of energy off the bench and our first group did a great job of setting the tone. I know there’s a wide margin, but I thought we were very efficient.”
In addition to Liston and Peters, Elizabeth Williams scored 17 points while Alexis Jones and Chelsea Gray had 14 points each. Chloe Wells came off the bench to score 10 points.
Upstate turned the ball over 30 times and Duke’s stifling defense was a major factor as the Blue Devils recorded 22 steals. The Blue Devils also forced a 10-second call in the backcourt, marking the first time Duke had benefited from the women’s game adopting the rule that had only been in the men’s game prior to this season.
“We are not going to see that kind of pressure when we get to our conference,” said Upstate coach Tammy George, whose team plays in the Atlantic Sun Conference. “We were intimidated by that in the first half. They close the gap quicker than you think. It’s open for as second, but because of their quickness and length it closes fairly quickly.”
The 123 points Duke scored was the second-highest total in program history. The Blue Devils scored 128 points in a win over Howard in 2002.
Duke’s 83-point margin of victory was the third-highest in program history. The Blue Devils beat N.C. Central by 89 points (117-28) on Dec. 28, 2009 and beat Ball State by 86 points (110-24) on Dec. 19, 2005.
|No. 2 DUKE 123, USC-UPSTATE 40|
Percentages: FG .207, FT .909.
3-Point Goals: 6-19, .316 (Herr 2-3, Romiti 2-4, Johnson 1-1, Edwards 1-4, Haddock 0-1, Jefferson 0-2, Stanford 0-2, Bogle 0-2).
Team Rebounds: 1.
Blocked Shots: 2 (McAllister, Hicks).
Turnovers: 30 (Bogle 5, Romiti 4, Stanford 4, Edwards 3, Clency 3, Jefferson 3, Johnson 3, Hicks 2, Herr, McAllister).
Steals: 6 (McAllister 2, Haddock, Johnson, Bogle, Herr).
Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .568, FT .700.
3-Point Goals: 10-18, .556 (Liston 4-7, Wells 2-2, Gray 2-3, Jones 2-3, Jackson 0-1, Henson 0-2).
Team Rebounds: 4.
Blocked Shots: 4 (Williams 3, Chidom).
Turnovers: 17 (Jones 4, Henson 3, Gray 3, Liston 2, Williams 2, McCravey-Cooper, Peters, Johnson).
Steals: 22 (Jones 6, Gray 6, Jackson 3, Peters 3, Wells 2, Henson, McCravey-Cooper).
Technical Fouls: None.
Officials_Carla Fountain, Dan Outlaw, Mark McClenney.