DWHoops - We cover Duke Women's Basketball - Delivering Images & Insight Since 2006 Join DWHoops DWHoops Member Login About DWHoops DWHoops Site Archives DWHoops Twitter DWHoops on Facebook DWHoops Feed Latest Photo Galleries 2014 Duke Schedule


Follow our league coverage at ACC Women's Basketball Digest

Duke Dominates USC, 75-50
The Nutshell
 
Duke Dominates USC, 75-50
Photo Gallery
Duke Dominates USC, 75-50
By Rob Clough
November 15, 2010

  NUTSHELL     RECAP     PHOTOS     PLAYERS  

Game Recap


When asked about Duke's most recent meeting with Southern Cal, coach Joanne P. McCallie said "It left a bad taste in my mouth. I just didn't think we defended. I mean we were down 21-9 at some point in that game. Jas was the hero of that game by far. We completely relied on Jas. I think she had 28 points, and had to do everything in that game, and it just looked awful. Just watching the film again was just painful for me. And I just wanted to complete everybody doing something special tonight. So I guess it was a good motivator from a coach's point of view." While it's certainly true that the players were focused from the very beginning, especially at the defensive end, it had as much to do with Duke's own players working on their own communication as it did with lingering memories from last season. That's especially true of the freshmen, who are concentrating on finding roles and meshing with the upperclassmen. To their enormous credit, not a single frosh wavered in intensity during the game. There was certainly some wobbly execution at times, but every frosh had a "next play" mentality that allowed them to bounce back from mistakes.

Duke had the game well in hand within the first seven minutes. Duke adjusted to USC's sets, fiercely defended the perimeter and established total control of the boards. The Devils' offense aided its defense in the way its penetrators got to the line and put USC players on the bench as a result. Few teams in the country can match Duke in terms of quality, productive depth and the dropoff often becomes clear ten minutes into the game. Duke's bench scored 11 straight points to give the Devils a 15 point cushion in the first half as its young players showed off their speed and skills. USC beat #23 Gonzaga in part because they ganged up on All-American Courtney Vandersloot, but Duke's balance meant that there was no single player they could zero in on that would bring the offense to a standstill. Duke still had occasional offensive lulls, but they did a fine job of either locating a senior (who would score or get fouled) or getting extra shots.

Jasmine Thomas noted that Duke has played two teams that were similar in that they lacked a penetrating point guard and punishing inside game. The Devils had to focus on shutting down shooters, and Duke did a fine job of limiting USC's open looks from long range. The normally sweet-shooting Women of Troy shot just 4-19 from three (21%). Duke was +13 on the boards and scored 26 points on 21 offensive rebounds. The Devils also dominated paint scoring (38-18) and points off turnovers (19-10). Once Duke realized that USC would not be able to score on them (short of desperation or circus shots), the Devils' resolve became even more steely and frustration started to set in for USC. Any time they managed a brief scoring run or got a key stop, Duke's defense would recover and a veteran would step up to hit a big shot.

USC actually led a few times in the early going. Their center Keri LaPlante scored the team's first 3 points, but J.Thomas found Chloe Wells to give Duke a 4-3 lead. USC scored inside, but Kathleen Scheer drove past a defender for a score to give Duke a 6-5 lead. Allison Vernerey replaced a largely ineffective Krystal Thomas and made an immediate impact with a three point play off a stickback. Two foul shots by J.Thomas gave Duke an 11-5 lead at the first timeout.

After a USC basket, Duke's bench went on an 11-0 run. Haley Peters, playing with a great deal of calm confidence, fed Vernerey for her go-to left-handed hook. A Wells steal led to a fast break basket for the smoothly gliding Richa Jackson. A second straight turnover from USC leader Ashley Corral (who killed Duke last year) led to Wells finding Jackson for a three. Peters then pulled down a tough rebound and pulled up for a 12' jumper. The run ended when Jackson delivered a nice pass to Chelsea Gray in transition, making the score 22-7.

Duke then went three minutes without a point and the Women of Troy went on a 12-4 run to get back in the game. Duke was simply missing shots and leaving points at the foul line, while USC's Jacki Gemelos (she of the multiple knee operations) hit a circus shot and was fouled. With 7:11 left in the half, USC had cut the score to 26-19. The Devils ended the half on a 14-3 run that blew the game wide open. This run was fueled by Duke's veterans, as Karima Christmas and J.Thomas combined for 8 points. Jackson hit a nifty left-handed scoop shot while Peters stuck back a miss from Vernerey. USC left several points at the foul line (something they couldn't afford to do) but the real problem was that they shot 33% from the floor and had trouble generating extra shots. Duke only shot 39%, but they also turned the ball over just 3 times and got 10 offensive boards. Peters & Vernerey combined for 16 rebounds in the first half alone.

After struggling in the first half, Krystal Thomas was determined to make an impact in the second. She scored 3 points and found Scheer for a trey in the half's opening three minutes to push Duke's lead to 20 at 46-26. Duke went through one of their periodic scoring lulls over the next four minutes as USC went on a 9-3 run. Duke simply got sloppy, turning the ball over 4 times, but coach McCallie let the team play through. Once again, the bench came up big as Jackson fed Vernerey from the wing and Allison sealed her opponent off, spun and scored. Peters scored and was fouled on a drive, smoothly sinking the foul shot. A free throw by Vernerey made it 55-35 with 11:20 left.

From there, the two teams played roughly even until the last couple four minutes, when Duke finished on an 11-4 run. Chelsea Gray had a huge impact during this period, scoring 5 points and dishing out a couple of beautiful assists. Tricia Liston scored her first career points as she was finally able to relax a bit on the floor. USC was able to prevent the game from being a complete runaway thanks to getting to the foul line and draining 3 threes, but their inability to stop Duke inside or keep them off the foul line meant that they had no chance of making any real progress. Duke was in complete control and had the luxury of trying a number of different looks, including some zone sets that produced good results. Duke became a better team after playing its first two games, but they will have a number of different kinds of teams to deal with in their future. It's good to know that they have the capacity to shut down perimeter oriented teams, however.



Duke Dominates USC, 75-50
The Nutshell
 
Duke Dominates USC, 75-50
Photo Gallery

DWHoops.com is an independent media organization covering ACC & Duke Women's Basketball since 2006.
We support but are not affiliated with Duke University Athletics or The Atlantic Coast Conference.

Website Content Copyright 2007-2014 DWHOOPS.COM (Orin A. Day, Durham, NC, USA.) All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy and Terms