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Devils Turn Over Hokies, 69-38
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Devils Turn Over Hokies, 69-38
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Devils Turn Over Hokies, 69-38
By Rob Clough
January 21, 2010

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Game Recap


When shots don't fall, the rim can seem to get tighter and tighter. That's what happened in the first half of Duke's win over Virginia Tech, as the Devils went through a six minute span with only 2 points and another four minute span with another 2 points. That included a parade of missed layups on otherwise great shots, including a flurry from Jasmine Thomas and Joy Cheek. The good news was that Duke's defense remained stout throughout the drought, as the Devils held VT to 24% shooting in the first half and forced 13 turnovers (11 of them steals). The Hokies' two leading scorers, Utahya Drye & Lindsay Biggs, combined for just 6 points on 3-11 shooting.
Krystal Thomas hits from 18 feettop
Krystal Thomas hits from 18 feet

Duke started the game on an up note with a quick 6-0 run, as Jasmine sliced through VT's defense on a drive on the game's opening possession. Keturah Jackson drove and found Krystal Thomas (back in the starting lineup after a five-game absence) for a surprising 18' jumper. KJ then hit Jasmine for a 10' jumper. Duke had a couple of cracks at pushing the lead further, but VT eventually answered with a basket by Biggs. Neither team scored during the next five excruciating minutes, as Duke missed 9 shots (with 1 turnover) and the Hokies missed 4 shots and turned the ball over 3 times. Jackson finally drove in for a score to push the lead up to 6, but the Devils went ice-cold for three minutes, and the Hokies scored twice to creep within 8-6. Duke missed 3 shots and turned the ball over 4 times, but the Hokies couldn't take the lead.

Finally, Joy Cheek found K.Thomas on a beautiful high-low play and KJ was fouled going to the basket & hit 2 shots. Duke went through another lull and the Hokies managed to score 3 points in two minutes, cutting the lead to 14-11. Karima Christmas (who is fighting through a hand injury) stuck back her own miss, but the Hokies scored when Duke fell asleep on an inbounds play and again when Biggs scored over Kathleen Scheer. Virginia Tech actually had three chances to take the lead, but they turned the ball over each time. K.Thomas found Christmas on a give-and-go, an exciting basket that seemed to energize the team. J.Thomas came up with a steal and layup, and the Devils clamped down over the last three minutes. Cheek hit a jumper with five seconds left to give Duke their biggest lead at 7. The Devils only shot 26% from the field in the half as the frontcourt combined to go 3-14 and Jasmine was just 3-11. What gave Duke the halftime edge was a 10-4 advantage in points off turnovers.

Duke kept up their defensive energy after halftime, as Cheek blocked a shot and the Blue Devils got control of the ball. Joy then found Jackson on a give-and-go, Cheek came up with a steal and K.Thomas was fouled & hit 2 foul shots. Bridgette Mitchell then came up with a steal & layup to quickly push the lead up to 13. After a couple of VT free throws, the Devils went on an 8-0 run, as Mitchell found Krystal inside and Cheek for a three. Duke's press forced a 5th turnover just four minutes into the second half, and J.Thomas took advantage with a steal & layup.
Jackson and Mitchell force a Nikki Davis turnover in front of the Duke bench
Jackson and Mitchell force a Nikki Davis
turnover in front of the Duke bench

VT fought back a bit with a 5-3 run, broken up in the middle with a three by Jasmine. Duke put the game away with a 9-0 run as Allison scored with a hook, Shay Selby found Mitchell on a cut, and Cheek hit a couple of jumpers. That put the Devils up 48-22 with 9:34 left, but they weren't quite done. A 13-3 run over the next five minutes turned the game into an official blowout, one that featured sharp play from Krystal Thomas. She had an assist to J.Thomas for a three and Vernerey on a high-low, a stickback and a beautiful finish off a pass from Alexis Rogers.

The game wound up as a 69-38 runaway because Duke had a commanding 28-4 edge in points off turnovers and a 12-0 advantage in fast break points. Coach McCallie noted that Virginia Tech was a very good transition team, so it was to Duke's credit that they shut down their running game so thoroughly. Indeed, VT's 38 points were the fewest the team had ever scored in ACC play and 28 points under their average. The Devils shot 60% in the second half, including a sizzling 4-9 from three to tear apart a solid Hokie defense that was holding opponents to 57 points a game. The win put Duke on top of the ACC at 4-0 at a time when the rest of the league is muddled in the middle.



Devils Turn Over Hokies, 69-38
Team Box
 
Devils Turn Over Hokies, 69-38
Player by Player

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