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Up & Down Devils Ride Out BC, 69-58
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Up & Down Devils Ride Out BC, 69-58
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Up & Down Devils Ride Out BC, 69-58
By Rob Clough
February 2, 2009


Player-by-Player Stats & Commentary

Chante Black


Chante has had trouble against players of her size or more this season, so her 15 points and 6 rebounds represents a decent job, considering the sheer bulk of 6-6 Carolyn Swords. Chante used either hand to get up shots over her, scoring on hooks, turn-around jumpers and stickbacks. Down the stretch, she hit her foul shots and was especially aggressive at the defensive end. At her heart, Chante is a defensive specialist forced to become a viable offensive outlet, and her quickness at both ends makes her a tough matchup. The offense hasn't taken much advantage of Chante's ability to step outside and hit long jumpers, which is one reason why it's looked so clogged up this year. Black has a number of moves inside to score, but doesn't have the body of a dominant low-post scorer. She did do a good job of staying out of foul trouble while remaining active at the defensive end. She may not have been able to stop Swords from scoring (5-5), but did at least help limit her number of field goal attempts.

Joy Cheek


This was a solid game for Joy, as she was playing the three on offense and the four on defense. That meant guarding 6-4 Stefanie Murphy, and Joy did a solid job limiting her looks at the basket. On offense, she mostly scored like a wing, finishing a hard cut and pass from Waner, getting a steal & runout, and finishing in transition for a three point play after she caught a perfect pass. After finishing another three point play in the second half, Joy actually was on the bench for much of it. That was partly due to foul trouble, but also do to Duke trying to match up with BC's two point guard alignment and having troubles doing so. In general, Duke did a decent job keeping BC off the foul line, though the Devils simply didn't get it done on the boards. Duke has become curiously more like a finesse team in the last week or so; at times, this has led to some pretty plays on offense and scrappy steals, but it's also made Duke a bit soft. Better teams than BC and FSU have failed to crack the 50 point/40% from the field, and Duke's inability to close out opponents, stay conservative but intense on defense and make good decisions shows that the team still has a lot of work to do.

Carrem Gay


Carrem was an absolute revelation in this game, actively hunting her shot and making a number of tough ones as her confidence soared. What was interesting about her game is the number of different ways she scored. She started with an assist to Waner, and then scored on a drive and a dropstep through two defenders. She followed that up with a stickback, a 17' baseline jumper and a perfect transition finish. She racked up a team-high 10 points in the first half, and followed that up with a drive and bankshot after a Waner steal and a big 15' jumper to help stem a big BC run. Carrem was both intense and efficient in this game as Duke attacked BC's strength (its frontcourt) and was able to come out on top.

Abby Waner


Abby continues her run as the nation's most unpredictable player, and she's still as fun to watch as ever. You never know when the bombs are actually going to land with her. She nailed a trey to start the game and dropped another one a couple of minutes into the second half. When BC had once again pulled within 6 with under two minutes left, she nailed her third three of the game to cripple BC's comeback attempt. In between, she got assists to Cheek, Gay and a crazy transition drop-back pass behind her to a trailing Jasmine Thomas. She swarmed the ball with her usual ferocity and played off it with a ballhawk's eye to rack up 6 steals. She kept her fouls and turnovers under control for a very nice overall night.

Jasmine Thomas


Jasmine's a gamer, easily shrugging off turnovers and missed shots and staying focused on what needs to be done. Her only field goals were an early trey and a great finish on a spectacular Waner feed in transition. She missed layups, mid-range jumpers, step-back jumpers and long range shots. Still, when BC started fouling in a three possession game, Jasmine made 3-4 free throws to salt away the game. Jasmine did have assists to Black, Waner and played decent off-ball defense, but once again had trouble keeping her opponent from driving on her. I still think Jasmine's talents are a spectacular mismatch for this offense. She would excel in a more free-flowing, motion-based game that emphasized cuts and penetration, as opposed to Duke's more grinding, pound-it-inside offense. Jasmine shrugs off such difficulties, with her attitude always consistently upbeat and energetic. A year's experience in the ACC wars is certainly helping her this season; she seems to be more prepared to make an impact in each game.

Karima Christmas


Karima is a big "next play" sort of player. She can miss a free throw, make a careless turnover or badly miss a shot, but when the game is in question, she keeps on coming. In this game, she halted a 7-0 run with a big stickback. When BC pulled within 6, she split the defense with a muscular drive to the basket with under three minutes to go. Her multiple offensive rebounds helped Duke chew up the clock with under five minutes to go. She blocked a three point attempt that essentially snuffed out BC's chances with a minute to go. The only disturbing thing about Karima's game is the way her foul shooting has gone south of late. This is the player who hit 2 big time foul shots to help clinch a win against Virginia Tech, but had trouble making them against FSU and BC. That speaks to a lack of focus and the occasional drift that we see in her game (and that actually affects every member of the team). If the coaching staff actually ran any plays for her, she could really do some damage.

Keturah Jackson


KJ hit a three early in the game, and this was probably the worst thing that could have happened to her and Duke. She started to get out of control on offense at a time when Duke needed someone to take care of the ball and make good decisions. She did a good job tracking down Picco but sometimes drifted a bit on defense as well. KJ had held down a starting job because she's Duke's best on-ball defender by far, but the Devils also need consistent good decision making on offense to reach their full potential this season. Like many players in the league, KJ often tightens up when she makes an offensive mistake, resulting in a foul or a defensive gamble on the defensive end in an attempt to atone. KJ simply has to rise above this tendency, continuing to play to her strengths and embrace the mantra of "Next Play" when things go awry.

Krystal Thomas


Over the last couple of games, Krystal has really started to come alive. For much of the season, she's been mostly a placeholder for Chante, buying a few minutes here and there. Against FSU and BC, she has started aggressively looking for her shot. Down the stretch of the first half, she nailed a sweeping left-handed hook against Carolyn Swords, and then banked in a 19' jumper from the top of the key. Her big body was quite comfortable against stocky opponents like Swords and she certainly wasn't afraid of challenging her. She was also quite effective in the limited minutes Duke went to a twin-towers configuration, helping to negate BC's size advantage. Krystal hasn't come close to hitting her ceiling as a player.

Bridgette Mitchell


Duke didn't use the matchup zone much in this game, which meant that Bridgette didn't get a lot of minutes. It's always hard to predict what she'll bring to the table in a given game, and one almost gets the sense that if she doesn't start grabbing offensive rebounds right away, she won't play much.

Kathleen Scheer


Kathleen played the last 4 minute sequence of the first half and did a good job of finding the flow of the game on both ends. In the last minute of the half she managed to squeeze off an open long range shot after using one dribble to get her defender to bite. Unfortunately but she wasn't squared enough to the basket to get the shot to fall and pinned it between the backboard and rim.

Chelsea Hopkins


I think that if Chelsea had not sustained an injury earlier in the year, she would have been a regular part of the extended rotation with double digit minutes in each game. Her understanding of exactly how to either attack the basket or see teammates cutting to it at different angles makes her the team's most accurate passer. The pass she threw to Cheek in stride for a three point play in transition was a thing of beauty--thrown precisely where only Cheek could catch it, and in a place where it wasn't that hard for Joy to hang on to it. When BC went to a two-point guard offense in the second half as a way to combat Duke's pressure, they were able to turn the tables and get Duke to cough up the ball. To counter this I might have tried a J.Thomas/Hopkins backcourt, if only for a few minutes. Hopkins' defense could have helped stopped the easy penetration BC was getting and her ball handling might have prevented a few of those turnovers. This won't be the last time Duke's opponents use such a configuration against them, so the sooner the coaching staff figures out a reliable counter for it (other than doing exactly the same thing and hoping that no mistakes are made this time), the better.

Shay Selby


Shay had a brief but effective stint at the end of the first half, with an assist to Kryatal Thomas on her jumper and a steal. It seems pretty clear that her minutes will likely be limited in close games, which is unfortunate because she adds a scoring mentality that still manages to work within the structure of the offense. I do think her defense has improved, especially off the ball, but she still has trouble staying in front of quick opponents.

Up & Down Devils Ride Out BC, 69-58
Team Box
Up & Down Devils Ride Out BC, 69-58
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