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Devils Edge Out Kentucky, 54-48
Game Recap
 
Previewing Maryland at Duke
Devils Edge Out Kentucky, 54-48
By Rob Clough
January 4, 2011

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Player Stats and Commentary


Commentary has been added, thus completing our Kentucky coverage.



Duke Starters

Krystal Thomas

 
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Up until the last two minutes, this was one of Krystal's worst-ever games. She was going up against a smaller opponent that played straight-up man to man that wasn't double-teaming her, and she was passive at both ends. She was consistently off-balance when she did take shots and missed 2 crucial free throws in the second half. In the last two minutes, she collected herself and made plays: a series of huge, high screens that freed up Jasmine Thomas for stop-and-pops; intense post defense; an alert block on Kentucky in the waning seconds of the game. If Krystal doesn't show up against Maryland, Duke will lose. For that matter, Duke will not be a Final Four team if Krystal doesn't focus on fundamentals and maintain her focus throughout the game.


Haley Peters

 
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Haley replaced Scheer in the starting lineup and had some encouraging early returns as she grabbed a couple of rebounds and stuck back a miss by Vernerey. Then jitters started to set in as she was whistled for traveling three times; each time, she passed up a good shot in an effort to drive for a different shot. She simply has to trust that if she misses a good shot on a pass from a teammate, she will either make it or a teammate will get a rebound. As always, Haley simply needs to relax and play on instinct on the offensive end.


Karima Christmas

 
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This was not a great game for Rima, who sat out much of the first half with two fouls after twice tying the game (with a drive and 2 free throws). Kentucky did a great job of putting a body on her and keeping her passive. Karima did come with a key steal near the end of the game that helped set up the go-ahead score.


Shay Selby

 
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Shay started but was curiously almost invisible out there. Outside of a rebound and a couple of missed shots, she simply didn't have a big impact (positive or negative) on the game. This isn't of much concern, given her status as a veteran who has a history of being streaky. Shay will make an impact when one least expects it.


Jasmine Thomas

 
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Jasmine might as well have thrown out the first eighteen minutes of the first half and the first twelve minutes of the second half. Other than scoring on a drive and getting 2 free throws early in the game, she literally did all of her scoring in those ten minutes. She missed all kinds of shots, but she especially struggled to finish at the rim. Once she got going and hit the Turbo button, there was little Kentucky could do to stop her. Thomas scored on a stickback, dished to Liston for a jumper and stuck two pull-up jumpers to turn a 1-point Duke lead into a 9 point halftime bulge. When Duke was desperately trying to win down the stretch, she not only hit a couple of clutch jumpers, she also had 2 big-time blocks that snuffed out otherwise good-looking shots. The tougher the game situation, the calmer Jasmine has become. Every miss on offense just seems to make her work harder on defense to make a play--very much like a Lindsey Harding. This is exactly the Jasmine Thomas Duke will need to win the ACC: an aggressive leader who wants to set others up if possible but who will take over the game when she senses she's needed.



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Off the Duke Bench (in order of entry)

Allison Vernerey

 
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Alli must be commended for her sheer effort and aggressiveness. She came in off the bench and was clearly ordered to attack the basket. However, she seemed to be in a hurry and didn't take shots with her normal level of calm. Missing easy hooks and layups clearly got to her as she became more and more frustrated and finally stopped looking for her shot. Of course, she never stopped working on the boards or on defense. While only credited with 1 steal, she had her hands on a number of loose balls and deflected several passes. As long as she keeps working (and working on her foul shot), the baskets will come.


Kathleen Scheer

 
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Leener came off the bench and played hard, grabbing 5 rebounds, but made some bad decisions. On one play, she came up with a steal and instead of passing ahead to Chelsea Gray, she tried to take it in herself and wound up turning the ball over. It'll be interesting to see if she reclaims her starting job against Maryland.2


Chelsea Gray

 
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The Closer struck again with that late shot that somehow bounced off Victoria Dunlap's hand and into the basket. She certainly provided an important source of points earlier in the game, as she sank a couple of threes in the first half and had another basket in transition. She was somewhat hamstrung by foul trouble, but that didn't stop her from going after her 5 steals. After a couple of games where she went scoreless, it was important for her to establish herself against an elite opponent. I have the sense that the more she plays, the sharper she remains on a game-to-game basis.


Chloe Wells

 
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Chloe had a solid first half but was pressured into some questionable decisions in the second half. She had a steal/runout and two dishes to Gray for treys in the first half. In the second half, she missed 3 shots and carelessly stepped on the sideline. Kentucky simply kept better track of her in the second half; while they let her make decisions, they worked hard to keep the ball out of Jasmine's hands.


Tricia Liston

 
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In limited minutes, Tricia had a huge impact. Certainly, hitting that three after missing 13 straight shots to open the second half was crucial. Draining a jumper on a pass from Jasmine in the first half was also important, given Duke's problems scoring. What was great about Liston in this game is that she battled without worrying too much about what she couldn't do. She wasn't going to overpower anyone or blow by anyone. But she could still hustle and go after loose balls, and her 4 rebounds are certainly a testament to that.




Devils Edge Out Kentucky, 54-48
Game Recap
 
Previewing Maryland at Duke

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