DUKE WOMEN ROMP
Senior forward Tricia Liston had a blistering offensive outburst in the first half, junior center Elizabeth Williams had her first double-double of the season, and No. 3 Duke blew out Old Dominion 87-63 Thursday night to go to 13-1 on the season.
Duke finished with four players in double digits: Tricia Liston with 17, Oderah Chidom with 13, and Elizabeth Williams and Alexis Jones with 12 each. Williams also had a season-high 12 rebounds.
Still, the Blue Devils may have gotten more than they bargained for against the outmatched, undersized but scrappy Lady Monarchs.
Old Dominion, 6-7, trailed by just six points, 38-32, with 2:16 remaining in the first period. But that was as close as they would get. Duke ran off the next seven points to end the period, and ODU never got closer than 13 points in the second half. Duke’s largest lead of 27 points came with 2:19 remaining in the game.
Duke Coach Joanne McCallie was impressed with the 33-19 scoring differential Duke enjoyed off the bench, and said Old Dominion had just the right mix of play and players to prepare the Blue Devils for their ACC schedule starting Sunday at Georgia Tech.
That’s because the Lady Monarchs exposed weaknesses that have haunted Duke all season — 3-point shooting, defending in the middle of the paint when opposing players pull up and shoot the ball, and containing good shooting guards. Georgia Tech is similar in play to Old Dominion, McCallie said.
“It gave me concern against Kentucky, it gave me concern against Oklahoma. It’s been a concern,” McCallie said. “We’re trying to work on stopping the gaps, which is what you did see.
“It was bothersome that we didn’t locate (sophomore guard LaQuanda Younger). Two people did all the damage for them, (Younger and junior forward Tiffany Minor) the noted shooters. We really got ourselves out of position. We overplayed the penetration, we didn’t locate and spot up like we should have,” McCallie said. “So there are some great lessons for us.”
It was Younger who drained three consecutive 3-point shots to erase a 15-point Duke lead and tighten it to six in the first period.
“Yes they was open (shots), but look who made them open,” Younger said. “We’ve got great wing guards.”
She downplayed her shooting prowess.
“That’s why she recruited me,” she said of ODU coach Karen Barefoot. “Wide open, you expect to knock them down.”
But she admitted Barefoot got impatient with her at one point and called a timeout.
“Coach said, ‘Why I got you in the game?’ She said, ‘Hey if you ain’t going to shoot I’m going to take you out of the game.’ I said, ‘I’m going to shoot the next one, I promise.’ The next one went right in. We need to have that conversation more often.”
But Liston was the dominant first period story scoring 17 points, matching her scoring average for the season.
“I thought she was key for us in the first half. I thought she got us off to a great start,” McCallie said.
“She’s a smart player. They were trying to stop her too, but she didn’t worry about that too much,” McCallie said. “Some people just try to spot her as a shooter and that will get you in trouble. Because she’ll post people up, she’ll do different things.”
“We were giving her too much space. You can’t give her nothing,” Barefoot said.
“She was the focus of attention the second half,” Barefoot said. “We tried to get a higher hand, try to make her put the ball on the floor, try to rotate better, and again what happened was when we did that we did stop her, but we gave up offensive rebounds, and that’s where they got us at.”
At 19:13 of first period, Liston became the 23rd player in ACC history to notch 200 3-pointers for a career. She had three 3-pointers, moving her into a tie for 22nd place in the ACC, and is now tied with Georgia Schweitzer for second on Duke’s all-time 3-pointer list with 202.
Williams extended her consecutive game streak of blocking at least one shot to 83 with just 53 seconds gone in the game. She blocked four on the night, and has now blocked a shot in every game she’s played. She holds the longest current string in the nation, which is also an ACC record. She now has 261 total blocks, tied for ninth on the ACC career blocks list with Duke All-America Chanté Black.
“Honestly, I think the double-double” was more satisfying, Williams said. “I haven’t really been rebounding as well as I wanted to this year.”
“Elizabeth’s energy was fantastic. She could have played a lot more. She could have gone on forever tonight,” McCallie said. “Very aggressive, very, very demanding of the basketball, and I thought that was great.
McCallie also was pleased with Chidom, calling her work off the bench “fabulous.” She scored 13 points and had two rebounds in 11 minutes of play.
“Two of her shots were like acrobatic things, just really impressive knack around the basket to go 6 of 7 like she did,” McCallie said.
Ka’lia Johnson had seven points and six rebounds, both season highs.
“Ka’lia’s work, it’s not surprising. She’s in great shape and she’s been aggressive in practice,” McCallie said.
Johnson and Williams both have played previously with Old Dominion guard Galaisha Goodhope. Williams was on the same high school team that won a state championship.
|No. 3 DUKE 87, OLD DOMINION 63|
Percentages: FG .429, FT .462.
3-Point Goals: 9-22, .409 (Younger 5-7, Minor 4-9, Goodhope 0-1, Ajemba 0-1, Brandao 0-1, Gardner 0-3).
Team Rebounds: 7.
Blocked Shots: 1 (Minor).
Turnovers: 15 (Kelley 7, Goodhope 3, Minor, Painter, Gardner).
Steals: 4 (Minor 2, Kelley 2).
Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .522, FT .600.
3-Point Goals: 6-16, .375 (Liston 3-7, Jones 2-5, Jackson 1-3, Wells 0-1).
Team Rebounds: 4.
Blocked Shots: 5 (Williams 4, Peters).
Turnovers: 13 (Jones 4, Peters 3, Gray 2, McCravey-Cooper, Chidom, Williams, Henson).
Steals: 7 (Liston 2, Johnson 2, Williams, Jackson, Wells).
Technical Fouls: None.
Officials_Cameron Inouye, Dan Outlaw, Tony Lippa.