No. 2 Blue Devils put away Vanderbilt women at Cameron
Chelsea Gray just missed a triple-double and Tricia Liston was lights out from behind the 3-point line.
The Duke starter that scored the fewest points, though, may have had just as big an impact on the No. 2 Blue Devils in their 88-69 romp over Vanderbilt Thursday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Senior forward Haley Peters tumbled to the ground clutching her right knee with 3:27 left in the first half after attempting to block a shot. She was helped off the court and to the training room.
For many players, that would have been the end of her night.
Peters, though, isn’t like most players.
After not returning to the court with her teammates to start the second half, Peters hobbled out of the locker room with her right knee heavily taped.
“She had an impact just walking back into the gym, I think,” Liston said. “She is such a big presence and voice on this team. Seeing her walk back in, I think, boosted us a little bit and got us going.”
Duke led 53-49 when Peters checked back into the game to give her knee a try. The Blue Devils embarked on a 16-5 run over the next six minutes and their lead never dropped below 10 points again.
Peters took a pass from Chloe Wells and hit a jump shot to start the run. Liston, who scored 18 points on 6-of-8 3-point shooting, made two 3-pointers during the run.
“When she came in and rebounded and put that shot back in?” Liston said. “From then on out we were going full speed.”
Gray, who had 14 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, hit a layup, drew a foul and sank a free throw with 8:28 left to close the run and give Duke a 69-54 lead.
After her team led by just two points at halftime, Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said her team found a groove in the second half.
“The second half was us,” McCallie said. “It was more about us. It was how we play, our tempo, the steals. The defensive stops were a little more aggressive.”
Vanderbilt turned the ball over 28 times against Duke’s pressure. Guards Jasmine Lister (23 points) and Christina Foggie (18 points) kept the Commodores (3-2) close until the Blue Devils received that emotional life from Peters’ return.
“It’s not only a confidence booster,” Liston said. “But, if she can come back to the court after the fall she took then we can do a lot more on the court to help her.”
Duke had six players score in double figures, with Liston leading the way. Sophomore Alexis Jones added 17 with center Elizabeth Williams scoring 13. Peters and Wells each had 11 with Wells scoring hers in a reserve role.
McCallie said she wasn’t certain what Peters’ injury was Thursday night. Peters will have an MRI exam of her knee today to determine the extent of any damage.
Peters played only seven minutes in the second half as McCallie decided it was wise to pull her out.
But that was easier than seeing her helped off in the first half.
“That was hard on us,” McCallie said. “That messed us up a bit. Injuries are part of the game and you have to go with it. But that was a little too close to home, so that was good news when she came back.
“She came back and she hit a shot. Who does that? I was amazed by that really.”
|No. 2 DUKE 88, VANDERBILT 69|
Percentages: FG .481, FT .688.
3-Point Goals: 8-22, .364 (Lister 4-7, Foggie 2-8, Jenkins 1-1, Dahlman 1-5, Smith 0-1).
Team Rebounds: 3.
Blocked Shots: 0.
Turnovers: 28 (Jenkins 7, Dahlman 6, Bowe 4, Foggie 3, Webb 2, Lister 2, Long, Smith, Batey).
Steals: 9 (Dahlman 3, Lister 2, Long, Webb, Foggie, Jenkins).
Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .517, FT .750.
3-Point Goals: 11-19, .579 (Liston 6-8, Jones 3-6, Wells 2-3, Gray 0-2).
Team Rebounds: 2.
Blocked Shots: 4 (Gray, McCravey-Cooper, Henson, Williams).
Turnovers: 19 (Liston 4, Gray 4, Jackson 3, Jones 3, Peters 2, Wells 2, McCravey-Cooper).
Steals: 11 (Jones 3, Wells 2, Peters 2, Williams, Jackson, Gray, Liston).
Technical Fouls: None.
Officials_Susan Blauch, Daryl Humphrey, Jules Gallien.