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Duke 2008-09 Season Preview
 
Duke Zone Lassos Cowgirls, 77-68
Top Photos
Duke Zone Lassos Cowgirls, 77-68
By Rob Clough
November 14, 2008

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The Nutshell


This game was a microcosm of what we might see from Duke all season, both good and bad. An undersized but physical Oklahoma State squad was packed into a 2-3 zone the whole game, and Duke did not respond well to it in the first half. The Devils took the first open shot instead of finding the best shot. Defensively, what Abby Waner described as "lethargy" led to OSU piling up fast break points. The bottom line is that Duke didn't match OSU's level of aggressiveness or physicality in the first half, and the flaws of several players were widely exposed.

In the second half, Duke switched up the defense to a 2-3 zone of their own, started to get stops and went back to work on the offensive boards. A 25-3 run reversed a 9-point Cowgirl halftime lead and forced OSU into taking some bad shots of their own. A combined 47 points and 29 rebounds (18 offensive) from Duke's starting frontcourt helped make up for a horrendous shooting night from its backcourt. Duke's size, versatility and defensive pressure started to tell. It was also obvious that Duke's conditioning is way ahead of where it was last year, as Chante Black, Abby Waner and Jasmine Thomas all played 36 minutes apiece. Duke didn't wilt from the physical challenge and got stronger as the game wore on, another difference from last year's team. There's obviously room for a lot of improvement, but this was a solid test. Duke often unsuccessfully had to play from behind last year, so to come back from a deficit and take control of the game was a big step for this group.

Editor's Note: Some great photos are on the way...so please check back later today!



Duke 2008-09 Season Preview
 
Duke Zone Lassos Cowgirls, 77-68
Top Photos

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