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Devils Top A&M (Jimmy V), 61-58
Game Recap
 
Previewing Albany at Duke
Devils Top A&M (Jimmy V), 61-58
By Rob Clough
December 6, 2010

  NUTSHELL     PHOTOS     RECAP     PLAYERS  

Player Stats and Commentary




Duke Starters

Krystal Thomas

 
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Duke tried to get the ball into Krystal early and often. Neither the guards nor Krystal did a very good of executing. Passes were thrown high and Krystal didn't finish strong when she did catch the ball. As a result, Duke was that much easier to guard. In the second half, Krystal played like she had had her character challenged in the locker room and came out breathing fire. She took Adams off the dribble for a score, got a steal and near-layup and later scored on a feed from Christmas. The two foul shots she hit to give Duke the lead in the second half were absolutely cold-blooded. Defensively, there's no question that she kept Adams under control, forcing her to live out at the three point line rather than in the paint. She grabbed boards, blocked shots, and held down the back of the zone. In a season where her offense has not been very impressive, her performance in the second half of this game was an encouraging sign.


Kathleen Scheer

 
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After hitting a three in the early going, Scheer struggled for much of the game. Dealing with the power and speed of A&M was just a bit too much for her. That said, she played solid defense and made a few plays. Her alert pass back to J.Thomas for a three was one of the more important shots of the game. She did a great job of doubling the ball in the post and even came up with a block on one play. This game was a good step in her development as a post player, and I'll be curious to see how she follows up when she plays against Xavier in a couple of weeks.


Karima Christmas

 
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Karima was the first Duke player to crack the mystery of A&M's defense, thanks to her relentless attacking off the dribble. She had 6 of Duke's 16 points in the huge first half run, including a baseline drive that forced the Aggies to play her tighter. She didn't have a single field goal in the second half and missed 4 free throws, but she was awesome on the boards and on defense. She had 2 key steals down the stretch as well as a steal & runout. She shrugged off her mistakes and made big plays for her team in tough situations, which is all one can ask.


Jasmine Thomas

 
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Jasmine continued her shooting and turnover struggles in the first half. She in fact did not score until the last five minutes of the half, when she scored on a drive and hit a three as part of Duke's big run. She scored 13 of her 18 points in the second half, including the huge jumper with less than a minute left (probably the biggest shot of her career) and the game-clinching foul shots. Jasmine is still struggling to become more efficient as Duke attempts to integrate two new point guards and give extra minutes to a third. That said, she proved her mettle as the team's true leader when she took and made the biggest shots of the game. When Jasmine gets in a groove (and you know that she will in one big game or another), she will put up huge numbers.


Chelsea Gray

 
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Chelsea the Closer has the most sheer nerve of any frosh I've seen at Duke since Monique Currie. Her desire to make plays at the end of games is tremendous and takes a great deal of pressure off of the seniors. She also made plays early in the game, scoring on 2 free throws and s drive. Then Chelsea hit her learning curve going up against a quick, clever pair of guards in the Sydneys (Colson and Carter). She turned the ball over 3 times and took some unnecessary risks, but she also made some incredible plays. Chasing down a loose ball and then somehow launching a perfect pass to Selby for a three with the shot clock ticking down to zero. Down the stretch, she was fouled on a drive and hit 2 freebies and then scored on a stickback. Throw in 6 rebounds, drawing a charge on Colson (for her third foul) and 2 blocks (one on Adams!), and you have one of the most versatile frosh I've ever seen. She still has yet to string together an entire game's worth of solid plays without mistakes, but Coach P noted that she's willing to live with Chelsea's risk-taking so long as she excels in so many other areas.



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Off the Duke Bench (in order of entry)

Haley Peters

 
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Haley played with a great deal of effort and intensity, but she seemed clearly overwhelmed by the sheer physical intensity of this game. Shots and moves that worked fine in other games wound up in a turnover or a harried attempt under pressure. She did hit a nifty jumper 5' away from the basket, but she otherwise was hesitant and weak with the ball. That said, she now knows exactly what the physical nature of the ACC wars will be all about, and she'll be much better prepared when that moment arrives. No one works harder or is more coachable than Haley, and I expect her to address her shortcomings from this game immediately.


Richa Jackson

 
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Richa came in for a brief two minute stint as coach McCallie was trying to search for a spark from her guard corps. She held on to the ball a little too long and was forced to take a contested long-range shot that was an airball. While her time was brief, this was a valuable learning experience in that she learned first-hand that her speed alone wasn't enough to gain separation against elite opponents.


Chloe Wells

 
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Chloe was visibly frustrated in this game when she came on to give her team a lift. Like Richa, it was a hard lesson to take when she realized that she simply wasn't quick enough to drive past her opponents at will in the way she usually can. She simply lacked the upper body strength to turn the corner on A&M's players the way that J.Thomas and Christmas did in this game. Her tendency to pound the ball too much instead of actively probing, attacking and directing the offense came back to haunt her as the 4 threes she did attempt were either hurried or far short of the intended target. She did have one nifty play where she darted into the post and broke a pass off behind her to Haley Peters for a layup. She will definitely learn from this experience.


Allison Vernerey

 
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Allison's stats (no shots, 1 missed free throw, 2 boards, 1 block, 1 steal) may seem pedestrian at first, but there's a reason why she played 15 minutes. It was her length, aggressiveness and height on defense that helped turn the game around for Duke. She was absolutely unintimidated by Danielle Adams' power and stayed with her step for step. She was extremely effective in the back of the zone, moving over quickly if a player managed to go baseline to cut them off. She closed in quickly on double teams. The main problem she had was with her hand strength. She let a few rebounds slip right through her hands and had a couple of balls slapped out by stronger players. Vernerey simply has to continue to get stronger.


Shay Selby

 
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It's no surprise that Selby was the most effective member of the team's reserves, given her experience. She also seems to really enjoy playing under pressure and having the opportunity to make a big play. Well, she made nothing but big plays in this game. She had a steal and runout that contributed to Duke's big first half run. She hit 2 pressure-packed free throws that gave Duke the lead in the first half. Selby hit the second-biggest shot of the game, the three that brought Duke within a single point late in the second half as the shot clock was running down. When she was called upon to make a play, she did it, and was ready despite being the third point guard into the game for Duke (fourth if you count Jasmine). That's the sign of a mature player, one who doesn't sulk on the bench but rather maintains focus and intensity as they wait for their opportunity to shine.




Devils Top A&M (Jimmy V), 61-58
Game Recap
 
Previewing Albany at Duke

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