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Devils Claim ACC Nets, 70-60
Game Recap
2010 ACC Tournament Coverage
Devils Claim ACC Nets, 70-60
By Rob Clough
March 8, 2010


Player-by-Player Stats and Commentary

Krystal Thomas


The same was true of this game as the past few games for Krystal: outstanding defense and rebounding (2 blocks, 7 boards) but indecisiveness on offense. Of her 4 turnovers, 1 was an offensive foul but a couple came when she didn't quite know where she was and stepped on the baseline. She had a great finish for Duke's first points, but was never really in position again for that sort of move. The most important part of her day was that she held rebound machine Lucy Ellison to just 2 boards.

Joy Cheek


After a weak showing in the first half (3 points, 4 turnovers), Joy played a big part in the second, both in Duke's initial push and later in the half as well. She started the half with 2 free throws and a 15' jumper and later hit another long jump shot to give Duke its biggest lead at 18. After State made a push, Joy leapt up and tipped in a miss that pushed the lead back to 16. Joy was also a much more reliable presence on the boards, grabbing 5 of her 7 rebounds in the second half. Cheek gave Duke just enough of a third scoring option to help free up J.Thomas and Christmas.

Karima Christmas


Rima has emerged pretty unequivocally as Duke's second-best player. She also has the capability of figuring out what her team needs and doing that as much as possible on a game-to-game basis. In this game, it was perimeter shooting. In the first half, she sank a wing three and a baseline runner to boost Duke's lead to 11. In the second half, she followed up a trey by J.Thomas with one of her own to quickly turn a 5 point lead into a 15 point lead. She was her usual ruthless self on traps, digging out 4 steals. Karima also took a charge. She did get a little too physical at times, picking up 4 fouls. From here on out, she will need to be very careful in this regard, because the Devils will need her on the floor as much as possible.

Keturah Jackson


KJ usually lets the game come to her, but she made some mistakes in an effort to be aggressive at both ends. She usually doesn't land in foul trouble, but she sat out much of the first half after a promising start, with a long jumper and 2 foul shots (a definite positive after going 0-5 vs Georgia Tech). She also set Jasmine up for a three. One could tell that the pressure was getting to KJ just a bit, as she started to turn the ball over, foul and leave shots short in the second half. Indeed, she missed her first 4 shots of the second half, though after 3 consecutive days of play, it happens to the best of them. KJ redeemed herself by attacking the Pack off the dribble after they cut a 17-point Duke lead down to 9 in the span of about a minute. She just narrowly was able to turn the corner and get an opening on the baseline for the score. That put a lot of pressure back on State and stalled the comeback.

Jasmine Thomas


Jas was a little out of control in the first half, trying to kill State off quickly by attacking the basket after steals. The problem was that she started flinging shots up randomly, and as a result finished 4-12 in the half from the floor. She certainly still had her moments, hitting an early three and 15' jumper after a steal to tie the game after State's initial run. She later scored off the dribble, finishing in transition and found both Christmas and Scheer for threes. Jas was careless with the ball a few times and on occasion seemed to try to dribble almost too fast. This can all be forgiven because she was in constant, unrelenting attack mode. Her three to start the second half was the beginning of a run where five different players helped stake Duke to a 15 point lead. She had a steal & layup and a pass to Christmas for a three that helped Duke build up to an 18 point lead as they moved past the halfway point of the second half. Given the way she scored, passed and played defense, she richly deserved her status as tournament MVP.

Bridgette Mitchell


This wasn't a high-impact game for Bridgette, who sat out much of the first half with foul trouble. In the second half, she did finish a cut to the basket on a pass from J.Thomas, dished to Vernerey for a score, had a key stickback and found Cheek for a jumper after cleaning up another miss. She had a game-high 5 offensive rebounds, a testament to her tenaciousness. Bridgette and Karima didn't get to play together as much as I would have liked in this game, knowing how dangerous a duo they are defensively. Foul trouble on Karima's part precluded that for the most part, of course. Bridgette was simply one of many players on a team where the whole exceeded the sum of the parts.

Allison Vernerey


I noted in my last game report that Alli really needed to come on strong in the ACC finals, given the struggles she encountered against a rugged Georgia Tech team. In the first half, she was all about defense and rebounding. Like her teammates, she was trying to attack the basket, but her shots weren't falling--and some of them were a little wild. Still, she did grab 5 boards and had 1 stickback. Seeing her run the floor with the ball was an impressive sight after a Christmas steal, but it was even more impressive to see her do the right thing and give up the ball before she went completely out of control. In the second half, she found Cheek for a jumper, drove in for a score, finished a pass from Mitchell and hit the game-clinching free throw after State had pulled to within 9 points. Vernerey blocked shots and simply used her size to control a smaller opponent. She did it when the team needed her to do it the most, at a time when inside scoring and post defense was Duke's one missing piece.

Shay Selby


Shay was the bench MVP of the ACC tournament. In every game in which she appeared, she brought energy at both ends of the floor and came up with a big play or two. Against State, she came up with a couple of steals, scored on a drive late in the first half and sank 2 momentum-stalling foul shots that helped foil State's late comeback bid. She did have a silly reach-in foul at the end of the first half which allowed State to pull within 5, but she didn't make many other mistakes. Shay is sometimes a tad careless with her dribble (as are several of the other guards) and needs to value the ball a bit better. This game was a good example of her doing that. In most other respects, she's doing a fine job of adjusting to the speed of the game and in particular is finding ways to exploit her quickness and toughness.

Kathleen Scheer


With Christmas, Jackson and Mitchell on the bench with foul trouble late in the first half, Coach P called on Kathleen for some minutes. She responded with a tough rebound, good defense, and a three on a play designed for her to shoot the moment she inbounded the ball. It was an important shot, given that State had just cut Duke's lead down to 6.

Devils Claim ACC Nets, 70-60
Game Recap
2010 ACC Tournament Coverage

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