No. 5 Duke women come from behind in 2nd half to rout Miami
After a pedestrian first-half performance, No. 5 Duke found itself trailing Miami and looking for answers early in the second half on Thursday night.
The Blue Devils found them by speeding up the game and running way, way past the Hurricanes.
Duke scored 20 points in a row during one stretch of the second half, taking the lead for good and rolling over Miami 82-43 in ACC women’s basketball at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
In a fact that explains the difference in the two halves, the Blue Devils scored more points (53) over the final 20 minutes than Miami scored the entire game. Yet, two minutes into the second half, the Hurricanes held a 33-31 lead.
That’s when Duke reeled off 20 consecutive points by unleashing a transition game fueled by a turnover-producing defense.
“Once we got one (steal) it sparked everyone and the it pretty much kept going from there,” said Duke junior forward Tricia Liston, who led the Blue Devils with 17 points. “We were getting stops and then we were working the ball on offense and getting good shots and we were knocking our shots down. Everything was kind of meshing together and we just didn’t look back after that.”
Everything indeed came together for Duke (19-1, 9-0 in ACC) after halftime.
The Blue Devils shot 57.1 percent over the final 20 minutes while only turning the ball over five times.
Miami (14-7, 5-5), meanwhile, fell into an irreversible funk. The Hurricanes made 5 of 30 shots in the second half and turned the ball over 12 times.
Duke’s Chelsea Gray collected six of Duke’s 10 steals in the game. She had three during the 20-0 run when Duke held Miami scoreless for six minutes and three seconds.
“Chelsea’s defense, particularly her steals,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “I know she scored well, but her steals ignited the whole team and got us in some neat transition opportunities and those are a lot of fun.”
Miami coach Katie Meier, an all-American player during her time with the Blue Devils from 1986-90, had an unpleasant return to campus. In her eighth season as the Hurricanes’ coach, she was left to wonder why her team’s effort was so lacking.
“I really had a miserable time coaching in the second half because I couldn’t get a spark,” Meier said. “I couldn’t get my energy players to play with more energy. Duke’s hard enough to prepare for anyway — they’re talented enough, they have enough weapons to beat you with. It’s hard enough. But I never thought I’d be in Cameron Indoor Stadium begging for effort, coaching effort, where you couldn’t coach the game plan.”
Only one Miami player scored in double figures as the Hurricanes shot 27.4 percent for the game. Krystal Saunders had 15 points. But they all came in the first half on five 3-pointers.
Miami didn’t make a 3-pointer in the second half, missing all 11 attempts.
Liston and Gray (16 points) combined to score 33 for Duke, which had five players in double figures. Elizabeth Williams had 12 points (11 in the second half) while Alexis Jones and Haley Peters scored 10 each.
Jones, a freshman guard, also grabbed 10 rebounds for her first career double-double.
“She gets in there and gets that ball and that was a helpful thing,” McCallie said, “because at the half we weren’t exactly rebounding.”
After halftime that changed, as did everything else in the game, to Duke’s favor.
“When push came to shove,” Meier said, “Duke decided to shove and we didn’t shove back. I kind of felt that throughout the game. I just didn’t think Duke had gone after us as much. And when they came after us, we didn’t respond.”
No. 5 Duke 82, Miami 43
Percentages: FG .274, FT .667. 3-Point Goals: 5-24, .208 (Saunders 5-13, Stroman 0-1, McGuire 0-2, Woods 0-3, Yderstrom 0-5). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots: 2 (Stroman, Capers). Turnovers: 22 (Saunders 6, Stroman 4, Woods 3, Wilson 3, McGuire 2, Hayes, Capers, Yderstrom). Steals: 6 (Wilson 2, Capers 2, Stroman, McGuire). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .500, FT .625. 3-Point Goals: 7-19, .368 (Liston 2-4, Gray 2-6, Jones 2-6, Wells 1-2, Jackson 0-1). Team Rebounds: 3. Blocked Shots: 7 (Williams 3, Wells, Peters, Vernerey, Gray). Turnovers: 15 (Jones 4, Williams 3, Gray 2, Johnson, Jackson, Wells, Peters). Steals: 10 (Gray 6, Jones, Williams, Wells, Jackson). Technical Fouls: None.
A—5,138. Officials—Dennis DeMayo, Lawson Newton, Angelica Suffren.