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Waner Shocks USC Late, 97-89 (OT)
Game Recap
 
Waner Shocks USC Late, 97-89 (OT)
Game Notes
Waner Shocks USC Late, 97-89 (OT)
By Rob Clough
December 20, 2008

  NUTSHELL     BOX     RECAP     PBP     NOTES  

Player-by-Player Stats & Commentary




Chante Black

 
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When Chante was in the game, USC couldn't find anyone to guard her. She scored on breaks, posting up, on jumpers and from the foul line. She took over in OT with 7 points, playing with 4 fouls all the while. Duke really struggled without her in the game to act as the offense's focal point. Chante was also blocking shots, getting rebounds and shutting down what semblance of an inside game USC possessed. The forced time on the bench made her explosive and fresh down the stretch; when USC was started to puff with exhaustion, Chante made key hustle plays to help pace Duke in its comeback.



Joy Cheek

 
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This was a brutal game for Joy. Instead of being able to exploit her size & power, she looked lost on offense, consistently coughing up the ball. Joy did at least break a long scoring drought on a bank shot but otherwise couldn't buy a basket. That didn't stop her from her usual fine performance on the boards, but this is a player that Duke needs to become a consistent offensive force.



Carrem Gay

 
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After looking passive in some recent games, Gay was all over the place in this one. Her amazing 9 offensive rebounds included 2 stickbacks. She passed the ball efficiently, attacked the basket off the dribble, hit runners, got to the foul line and played solid defense. Like many of her teammates, she had way too many turnovers and fouled too much, but her energy level and effort were both at a high level. Duke needs a high-energy Carrem Gay to be truly effective. This doesn't necessarily mean scoring a lot of points, but she has to get rebounds and make effort plays.



Abby Waner

 
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You have to hand it to Abby--no matter how much she's struggling, how awkward her shots may look, she never stops trying. She's always looking to pass, always hustling after loose balls and making defensive plays. She's being forced to play a lot of point guard (which is not her ideal position) and she does it without complaint, even as this makes it even harder for her to get shots within the flow of the offense. She had a steal and pass to J.Thomas that was spectacular, part of Duke's late second-half push. Just when Duke seemed like it was dead, Abby came up with a series of unlikely shots that pushed the game to overtime. It started with a three off a pass from J.Thomas when Duke went down 13 with under five minutes left. Then she hit a tough trey from the wing with under 20 seconds left and finally sank a jump-hook (a shot I'd never seen her attempt before, much less make) to send the game into OT. While she missed a three in the extra period, she did have a steal and layup that put Duke up 7 and made it tough for USC to come back. Abby is playing like a senior who doesn't want to leave with any regrets, no matter how much she's struggling at times.



Keturah Jackson

 
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KJ struggled at point against USC's experienced and talented core of guards, though she did have a crucial three point play late in the first half. That said, she didn't jack up shots or do anything outside of the flow of the offense (with the exception of an offensive foul). It was also clear that Duke was best served with J.Thomas in at point. KJ's ideal position is defensive specialist wing off the bench, helping the reserves keep up pressure on the ball.



Jasmine Thomas

 
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Jaz was a force in this game, hitting jumpers all over the place and coming up with key defensive plays. Duke's offense was obviously much more effective with her at the helm rather than Jackson, though Thomas is still trying to get in synch with the rest of her teammates. Her early threes helped Duke stay within striking distance, but she also looked smooth off the bounce. She was one of the key players behind the success of Duke's press, hustling like crazy after loose balls. Her steal and layup in overtime put Duke in control. Jasmine has had outbursts like this before; the key will be able to do this sort of thing every night.



Shay Selby

 
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This was the game I had been hoping for from Shay. Her late first-half jumpers looked smooth and in the flow of the offense. The hitch I saw in her shot earlier in the year was completely absent. She kept the game from becoming a completely runaway in the second half with 6 points and helped tie it up at the end of the first half. She was also quick to loose balls, though she did turn the ball over too much. This is a game to build on, because her development could be a major key to Duke's future success this season.



Karima Christmas

 
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Karima was certainly the Grinch who stole USC's Christmas as she channeled the spirit of Peppi Brownes Past to make a huge second half splash. Christmas has really embodied the concept of Next Play, shaking off first half fouls and turnovers and simply getting the job done. In just fourteen minutes, she piled up 9 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals--most of which came in the last ten minutes of the game, when Duke really needed any kind of spark to come back. She looked comfortable inside and out, smoothly hitting jumpers, attacking the boards like a forward and getting to the rim like a guard.



Bridgette Mitchell

 
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Bridgette was a bit more out of control in this game than against Stanford, taking a couple of questionable shots and committing an offensive foul. She did hit Black for a score, broke a long scoring drought by getting to the foul line. Duke was going a little smaller in this game to combat USC's guard-heavy lineup, so Mitchell didn't quite have the same opportunity to make an impact.



Krystal Thomas

 
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Krystal rebounded well and hit a couple of foul shots in the first half when she subbed in for Black, but didn't see the ball when she played in the second half. I'm not sure if it's because Duke didn't run any plays for her or if she didn't make herself a target well enough.



Kathleen Scheer

 
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Kathleen had a cameo in this game, taking a good-looking three that missed and turning the ball over.





Waner Shocks USC Late, 97-89 (OT)
Game Recap
 
Waner Shocks USC Late, 97-89 (OT)
Game Notes

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