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Krystal was frustrated by Albany's zone throughout the first half,
scoring only the first possession of the game right off the tip. She took an
elbow to the chest that bothered her to the point that she didn't start in the
second half, though she did recover and play far more aggressively. She added
a stickback, a right-handed hook and two beautiful-looking free throws to her
scoring column. Thomas also went inside-out to Wells for a three, something
the team has been trying to do more of. The play where she was fouled involved
her posting up, passing out when nothing was there and then reposting strongly,
this time receiving the pass in a better spot. Duke has rarely had the
patience to do post/reposts, but the frontcourt and backcourt must communicate
and trust each other with regard to these passes.
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Kathleen had a fairly efficient, high energy game, marred only by a
couple of traveling calls in the first half where she shuffled her feet before
she took off with the ball. She was Leener-on-the-spot in the first half when
she picked up a loose ball and laid it in for a demoralizing score. She sank a
15' jumper set up by Christmas, drained a three and posted up late in the game,
all while grabbing some tough rebounds and keeping her hands high on defense.
Considering that she's battling a nasty cold, this was a good showing.
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Rima more or less took a siesta during this game. She didn't attack
the basket, instead putting up a few shots as a standstill shooter. Christmas
did have assists to Scheer for a jumper and Vernerey in the post, but in
general she was mostly content to let others take the lead. I expect that to
change dramatically when Duke goes up against its next few foes.
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Jasmine was pure intensity in this game, providing a role model for
her teammates at a time when the team's energy was low in the first half. She
and Gray traded passes-for-threes in the early going. Jasmine then pushed the
tempo a bit, twice finding Selby in transition. The second time she did that
came after she stole the ball. She had an open angle to the basket, but gave
the ball up to Selby on the 2-on-1 break in an effort to get her teammates
going. She followed that up with a steal and layup and then a three. In the
second half, she had 2 quick assists for Vernerey and followed that up with a
drive. Jasmine didn't need to play much after that, having jump-started her
team with a jolt of energy. During the course of this game, Jasmine became the
14th Duke player to score 1300 points, and she will move into 13th place
all-time in her next game. In terms of all-time numbers, she's currently #10
in assists, #7 in steals, #20 in blocks, #8 in threes, and #24 in free throws.
She has a chane to really climb the ladder in many of these categories.
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Chelsea is starting to establish herself as a dominant offensive player as
she attempts to strike a balance between scoring and playmaking. She had 3
assists in the first half, including a quick strike to K.Thomas after the
opening tap and 1 skip pass apiece to J.Thomas and Liston for threes. Her own
three point shot is rounding into form as she effortlessly sank 3 of 4 from
long range thanks to Albany's zone and alert ball reversal. Her size at 5-11
gives her a tremendous advantage over most opposing point guards. Chelsea
scored twice in transition (including a steal/runout) and also uncorked her
trademark teardrop runner. Gray was her usual active self on defense, getting
her hands on lots of loose change and cashing in to the tune of 5 steals.
Chelsea did have a couple of ill-advised passes (including one pass to no one
in particular out of bounds), but there were also a couple of great passes she
threw that were bobbled. Her teammates are still trying to figure out how to
prepare for her style of play while she's trying to understand both their
limitations and how best to get them to rise to her challenge.
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Off the Duke Bench (in order of entry)
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In the first half, and really, in many of her recent games, Richa has
looked slightly sluggish and even bewildered. She didn't seem to know how to
attack the zone at all in the first half, putting up a few weak shots and
committing an offense foul. She was much more relaxed and instinctive in the
second half as she drove for a three point play (but missed the free throw),
got some rebounds and came up with a steal. Of all the players on the team, I
think Richa will benefit the most from the long layoff from school that's
coming up and the distraction-free practices that will ensue. She has a nose
for the basket and is aggressive, and these traits simply have to be molded
correctly to fit in with the team concept.
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Shay scored twice in transition but otherwise had a fairly quiet game,
ceding a lot of point guard duties to Wells. She did have a little dust-up
with Albany guard Felicia Johnson, as a battle for a loose ball got heated and
resulted in a technical foul on Johnson after a brief shoving match.
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Allison was quite active and alert in this game, clearly relishing a
chance to post and up score with far greater ease than she's encountered in
recent games. She also ran the court well, finishing in transition on a pass
from J.Thomas. Her pass to Liston in the post for a score was an impressive
play for her, as she's sometimes struggled to quickly make the correct read in
time to deliver a pass in a tight spot. She did bobble the ball a couple of
times for turnovers and bricked a couple of foul shots, but in general she did
quite well in place of K.Thomas when she didn't start the second half. Never
afraid to give up her body, Allison took a charge to wipe out a potential
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Of all Duke's players, Liston had the most to prove in this game. Coach
McCallie noted that she really "answered the bell" in terms of what she brought
to the game. The best thing about her performance was not her scoring or
shooting (though that was impressive), but rather the fact that she was active.
She was constantly in motion, running through and around the zone in an effort
to disrupt it. In the first half, instead of simply sitting outside waiting
for someone to pass her the ball, she made the effort to post up against a
smaller opponent and sank a turnaround jumper on a pass from Vernerey. Given
the chance, she drained a three on a pass from Gray, then alertly found
Vernerey inside for a layup as the half was winding down. Liston was quite
active in the last eight minutes of the game, getting an assist on a pass to
Gray, sinking 2 threes, driving in for a floater and hitting 2 free throws.
She fought hard for 4 rebounds, went after loose balls and generally kept her
mistakes to a minimum. Tricia still has trouble staying in front of quick
opponents off the dribble, but she's better about seeking out help. McCallie
spoke openly about wanting Liston to get in the best possible shape, because
she sees her as a real potential contributor. Tricia will need to find the
balance between trying to go inside (which will be hard against some opponents)
and simply lingering on the perimeter. She wants to be active, but needs help
from her teammates in order to do so. With her deadly shot, let's hope happens
sooner rather than later.
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Chloe is probably the hardest on herself of any of the players, with the
possible exception of Haley Peters. After the game, she spoke of feeling like
"dead weight" the past couple of games and wanted to prove to her teammates
that she can contribute and help right now. Losing one's starting job can't be
easy for a young player, but the facts are that her scoring and playmaking had
fallen off in recent games against tougher opponents. Other than dishing an
assist to J.Thomas for three, she was quite ordinary in the first half. When
the five frosh were on the floor, Chloe was fired up and got her classmates
fired up as well. She backed up that energy by scoring 6 straight points,
including a floater, a baseline drive and a quick steal/layup under the basket.
Scoring without simply pulling up from long range is something she has to work
on, and this sequence showed her progress. Chloe followed that up with another
steal and dish to Gray for a runout, a pass to Liston for three and a three of
her own. She matched her career high with 9 points with just 5 shots and also
piled 7 assists to just 1 turnover. Chloe still has to figure out how to do
this againt quick opponents, but this game was certainly a step in the right
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Haley broke a team rule and so received extremely limited playing time.
This was unfortunate, given that she probably needed some extra minutes to help
get back into playing rhythm after receiving limited minutes against Texas A&M.
When she was in, she didn't seem comfortable, committing an offensive foul and
turning the ball over a couple of other times. Duke needs her to get back in