Liston leads No. 2 Duke to 400th win at Cameron
The second-ranked Duke Blue Devils controlled the pace of play from the opening tip and beat the SEC’s Alabama Crimson Tide 92-57 while claiming their 400th win at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Sunday.
Tricia Liston (20 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) led all scorers and a total of five Duke players who finished with double-digit scoring totals.
Haley Peters (12 points, 12 rebounds) finished with her second consecutive double-double and highlighted the remaining group that included Richa Jackson (15 points, 4 rebounds), Elizabeth Williams (13 points, 5 blocks), and Alexis Jones (12 points, 3 assists).
While Duke (3-0) evened the all-time series (1-1) with Alabama (0-3), the scene, the coaches and players, and final result were entirely different from when the two teams first tipped off back on Mar. 18, 1995.
Then 5th-seeded Duke faced 4th-seeded Alabama during the second round of the NCAA tournament and both teams played a quadruple-overtime thriller, combining for 241 points and setting 10 different tournament records as Alabama won 121-120.
The rematch wasn’t even close as Duke out-rebounded Alabama 47-27, shot 52 percent from the field, and tallied 22 team assists.
Even as the Crimson Tide put points on the board with four scorers contributing 10-plus points each, Duke rotated 12 players into action and created numerous matchup problems for Alabama’s young squad.
“It’s a new staff, it’s a new group,” Crimson Tide coach Kristy Curry said.
“We’re there to build it back, and we’re going to have some lumps and bumps.”
Coming out of the halftime break with a 47-24 lead, Duke focused on its defensive play.
“We mixed up our defenses a lot,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said.
“It caused our team to think and also have to really work on position. There were some excellent things that we did and there were some things that we were behind the ball a little bit. It’s part of the game. It’s November and we’re all kind of figuring this out together.”
Although Duke guard Chelsea Gray only scored four points, she contributed in other ways by dishing out a game-high nine assists and held her ground in taking a school-record four charge calls.
“I thought we got better and had improvements, McCallie said.
“Lessons to learn and we’re on to Thursday.”
With the win, the Blue Devils are now 30-14 all-time against SEC opponents and will face another one, the Vanderbilt Commodores, on Thursday to end their current three-game home stand.