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Previewing Duke at Oklahoma State
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Duke Crushes Okie State, 73-45
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Duke Crushes Okie State, 73-45
By Rob Clough
December 12, 2010



The bottom line regarding the Duke-Oklahoma State contest comes down to this: Duke was ready to play and Oklahoma State was not. The Cowgirls had done well to get to 8-0 and had proven to be a strong rebounding and defensive team that lived at the foul line. Duke was about to enter into finals during a segment of the season that saw them on the road for 6 out of 11 games. To Duke's credit, their focus (especially in the first half) was laser-like, as they blew OK State off the court with a 17-0 run that followed an initial deficit of 3 points. The Cowgirls turned the ball over a mind-boggling 13 times during this eight minute span of time and never recovered. Duke was outhustling them in every way imaginable, coming up with 5 offensive rebounds that led to 5 points. The aggressiveness of Allison Vernerey was a big key, as she dominated the less experienced Cowgirls with 7 quick points in the paint.

The Devils ended the half on a 13-0 run after OK State had pulled to within 25-9. Tricia Liston, showing a great deal of confidence after her performance against Albany, scored 8 points in 7 minutes on 3-3 shooting. Karima Christmas scored 7 points and was especially active in Duke's awesome press. While Duke made a lot of mistakes (14 turnovers in the first half and 25 for the game), they made OK State play faster than they really wanted to and kept them off-balance. The 9 points scored by the Cowgirls represented the lowest first-half point total for a Duke opponent since 2004, when Ball State was held to 7. The Cowgirls shot a putrid 14% and committed 25 turnovers of their own.

Duke kept up the pressure for the first ten minutes of the second half as they pushed the lead as high as 39 points 62-23. OK State's Lakyn Garrison hit 3 treys in a row to make it 62-35, as it was Duke's turn to cough up the ball. For the game, OK State actually beat out Duke 23-19 in points off turnovers, but they weren't able to score much in any other way. Duke held them to just 15 free throws and just 5 second chance points. The Cowgirls had only 7 offensive rebounds despite missing 35 shots. Duke had 19 offensive rebounds vs. 26 missed shots. I noted in my preview that this game would be won or lost on the boards, and Duke's absolute dominance in this area led to the easy win that I predicted if this came to pass. The Devils left a lot of points at the foul line, shooting only 19-31.

Chelsea Gray was close to a triple double with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Liston was in double figures for the second straight game, with 11 points on 4-4 shooting to go with a solid 4 rebounds. Vernerey had a solid 12 points and 6 rebounds, while Christmas was strong with 16 points. Oklahoma native Richa Jackson hurt her shoulder in practice on Friday, which was unfortunate considering that she would have likely received quite a few minutes.

Duke will now concentrate on final exams and then prepare for a brutal four game homestand: Xavier, Temple, Kentucky, and Maryland. Duke still has a lot of work to do on offense to get to where they want to be, but there's no question that they've passed every early test.

Duke Blue Devils Team Box Score


Oklahoma State Team Box Score


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Previewing Duke at Oklahoma State
Duke Crushes Okie State, 73-45
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