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NCAA: Devils Dismiss Aztecs, 66-58
Game Recap
 
Previewing #4 Baylor
NCAA: Devils Dismiss Aztecs, 66-58
By Rob Clough
March 27, 2010

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Player-by-Player Stats and Commentary





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Krystal Thomas

 
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Krystal had a pretty solid game, especially on defense. She battled Paris Johnson and was able to get some points off of her. She would have been in double figures if she hadn't missed 5 foul shots. Her main problem on offense was being slightly tentative at times, being called for a couple of travels and not catching sharp passes headed in her direction. She will obviously have a supreme challenge against Baylor.



Joy Cheek

 
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While Joy had her usual set of frustrating moments (most of her 5 turnovers were entirely unforced), she did a great job of moving without the ball and making herself available for scores. She was especially effective in the second half, as she scored in transition, in the post, and at the foul line. That was a marked difference from the first half, when she was 2-7 and had 4 turnovers. Most of those misses were off long jump shots, which is not only a proven low-percentage shot for her, it also didn't put any pressure on San Diego State's post players. Cheek's ability to step up in the second half wasn't flashy, but it made all the difference. That was especially true when she hit a run-ending shot and hit 2 fairly important free throws to keep the Aztecs at arm's length in the second half.



Bridgette Mitchell

 
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Hurricane Bridgette was unleashed on San Diego State, leaving their halfcourt offense a wreck. Her 7 steals were a career-high, and she did her usual great work on the boards, leading Duke with 8. Mitchell finished in transition, off a spin move, and had a key stickback to open the second half. Bridgette's frenetic energy had its rough spots as well, with some hurried shots and careless turnovers. Still, her length, speed and hand quickness in particular are things that opponents simply can't prepare for. Passes that seem safe are either picked off or flicked ahead to a fellow Duke player. If B can finish some more shots or hit jumpers like she did against LSU, Duke will have a great shot at beating Baylor.



Keturah Jackson

 
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KJ was Duke's secret weapon in this game. She helped to hound Morris into 4-18 shooting after she had torn up her opponents in the first two rounds. She had 2 key steals to start the second half and forced 2 jump balls. In the first half, she added some much-needed offense with a three and a three point play off a steal from J.Thomas. In the second half, KJ grabbed several tough rebounds and really put the clamps on Morris. She wound up only taking 4 shots, and I wish she had taken a few more. Her quiet confidence and composure made for a perfect complement to Mitchell's high-energy style. Jackson may well be the x-factor in a possible Duke win over Baylor.



Jasmine Thomas

 
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Everyone knows that Jas is a streaky shooter. When she sank her first shot and then quickly drained another jumper, it was clear that she was ready to rain down all sorts of damage on San Diego State. In this game, that came in the form of 6 jumpers, 3 steals & runouts, a runner in the lane and an 8-8 show from the foul line. She forced SDS star Quenese Davis into 7 turnovers and turned those into points--either her own, or one of her 6 assists. She also found Vernerey on an inbounds play and got fast break finishes for Mitchell and K.Thomas. On a night were she was challenged by a star guard who had put up a lot of points. Jasmine made her point as a leader, defender scorer and all-around star. She did it in a game where Duke needed her to be great, not merely good. If she can continue to lead this team in this way, Duke has a great chance at going to the Final Four.



Karima Christmas

 
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Karima's injury made her very tentative. She still moved relatively well, but wound up with 4 fouls and 3 turnovers (including an offensive foul). I'm not sure Duke can advance any further if she's not in a position to make a positive impact in a game. Hopefully she can overcome the injury and go back to hustling, rebounding and attacking the basket.



Allison Vernerey

 
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Allison struggled to get shots to land in this game, as she's still trying to figure out how to raise her level of play in the NCAA tournament. The good news is that she never stopped attacking and did finish one shot in the second half. The bad news is that she continued to look uncomfortable when bumped out of her favored spot on the left block. Fouls were a problem as she had trouble battling 2 big post players for rebounds.



Shay Selby

 
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Shay played nine minutes but didn't have much impact other than getting Jasmine and KJ a bit of rest.



Kathleen Scheer

 
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Kathleen got a cameo late in the first half but didn't get set up for a shot.



Alexis Rogers

 
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Lexi got in at the end of the game and had 1 turnover against San Diego State's press.





NCAA: Devils Dismiss Aztecs, 66-58
Game Recap
 
Previewing #4 Baylor

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