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Duke Takes Down Maryland, 71-64
Game Recap
Previewing Duke at Florida State
Duke Takes Down Maryland, 71-64
By Rob Clough
January 6, 2011


Player Stats and Commentary

Commentary and analysis have been added below, thus concluding our Maryland/Duke coverage.

Duke Starters

Krystal Thomas


Krystal bounced back in a big way from her virtual no-show against Kentucky. Going up against a huge and deep front line, Krystal battled her way to 8 points and 10 boards. She had several key blocks and helped hold Kizer and Hawkins to very poor shooting performances. She was especially effective in the first half, keeping her feet balanced and her hands high as she moved quickly and decisively to the basket. I have long maintained that Krystal has good hands but isn't one to go high for passes. Chelsea Gray in particular delivered a great pass to her from an angle when she was posting up, and Krystal used a simple post move to score. Really, the only areas of concern for her in this game were her turnovers. When Krystal is put in decision-making mode, it puts her in a tough spot, one she's rarely done well in. Krystal is a finisher, not an initiator.

Haley Peters


Haley's toughness has never been in question. It's been her ability to play against elite athletes in physical matchups that's been a concern. She's seemed overwhelmed and hard on herself at times, but instead of moping she worked even harder in practice. By focusing on fundamentals like defense and rebounding, she proved to be more decisive at both ends of the floor. She did a nice job of shrugging off mistakes and battled one of the top rebounding teams in the country to a standstill on the boards, grabbing 9 (including 5 on the offensive end). She hit a couple of jumpers (including a short shot after she missed a three) and also scored going to the basket a couple of times. She didn't take a bad shot and it was encouraging that she continued to shoot even though her three wasn't going down. Defensively, Haley took a charge, blocked a shot and came up with a steal. Getting the call to start was clearly a big deal for her, one that she didn't take lightly. I think McCallie made a good call to keep her in the starting lineup even after she struggled against Kentucky, because it clearly gave Peters confidence. That move certainly paid dividends in this game, and it will be up to Haley to build on this performance.

Karima Christmas


Karima had a drive and assists to each Thomas in the early going but was mostly invisible the rest of the first half. It was obvious that she got an earful about this at halftime, because she came out a lot more aggressive, scoring on the first play of the half and getting to the foul line 7 times. Karima continued to struggle from the perimeter, missing a number of fairly open shots. In fact, Maryland fairly dared her to shoot. Happily, she attacked the basket and did work on the boards when her shot wasn't falling. I think it's obvious at this point that Karima will never be a consistent double-digit scorer. Duke simply has to be prepared for the games where she's not scoring a lot and find ways to help her, and the second half of the Maryland game was one such instance.

Shay Selby


Shay earned her starts this week based on the spark she brought against Temple and her general solid play off the bench. Curiously, she has struggled as a starter. She did take an early charge and had a great pass to Peters for a score, but that's pretty much the sum of her highlights. Her shot wasn't dropping, which does happen, but she simply wasn't all that active defensively either. Don't be surprised to see Gray move back into the starting lineup.

Jasmine Thomas


This was probably her best game of the year. She set the tone early for Duke with 5 quick points and hit a big three later in the second half as part of Duke's comeback. She opened up the second half with 7 quick points, including a couple of steal/runouts. She didn't score again for nearly fourteen minutes--but that score was a three that put the Devils up for good. She followed that shot with an even more difficult attempt with that off-balance runner, then hit free throws down the stretch. Jasmine eased back when she saw other players step up but wasn't afraid to take over down the stretch. Her steely will to win is sometimes obscured by her calm demeanor and after games, but the fact is that Jasmine is simply read to make plays at any time. She claimed that nothing special happens for her down the stretch, that she feels the same way the whole game. That may well be true, and what may be happening is other people getting nervous while she remains her usual relaxed self.

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Off the Duke Bench (in order of entry)

Chelsea Gray


Chelsea's minutes were a bit helter-skelter in this game, which didn't help her sense of continuity much. She missed all 4 of her long-range attempts, but they were all good shots. Of course, what's most remarkable about The Closer is the way she played in the game's final minutes. Even before that final flurry, she made great reads to find Peters & Scheer in traffic. In that last minute, she came up with 3 steals and 5 points as she anticipated every pass. While I'm sure she's always been told to stay aggressive, her court vision automatically triggers her quick reaction to such a play. Regardless, Chelsea seems to have the preternatural ability to be in the right place at the right time, and that's what won this game for Duke.

Allison Vernerey


Allison battled like crazy but simply wasn't very strong with the ball. She had it ripped out of her hands a couple of times when she pulled down a rebound and her only shot was an ill-advised jumper. She did play well on defense poking away a loose ball for a steal and playing the Terps tough inside.

Kathleen Scheer


Leener didn't play much, but she battled hard during her stints. In the second half, she hit a short jumper and finished a tough drive. She picked up a key offensive rebound and got a time out to prevent a double-team from turning her over. She made the pass to Jasmine to set up the crucial shot that gave Duke a 1 point lead late in the game. It was good to see that being demoted didn't affect her readiness or energy, because she made some big plays when called upon and was wildly enthusiastic when her teammates made a play.

Tricia Liston


After the game, McCallie referred to Liston as "a shark", because "she's always lurking." It's as good a nickname as anyone for this player who's now remarkably free of nerves after playing well against Kentucky. I noted to McCallie that the offense seems to flow better when she's in the game. She agreed that this was true, and I think that she provides better ball movement. She knocked down some big shots in this game and was even more impressive on the one play where she weaved her way through Maryland's defense to score on a short jumper. Tricia also made a nice pass inside to Krystal to help break up a long scoring drought. Tricia is now both fearless and active, proving that she's not afraid to battle for rebounds even though she's undersized and lacks strength. One can tell that she's a gamer and wasn't prepared to be glued to the bench. She noted that she also did a lot of additional work, like agility drills and drills that emphasized quickness and quick reactions.

Chloe Wells


Chloe got some run in the first half as coach McCallie is clearly searching for ways to get her on the floor, even if it messes up the team's continuity a bit. To her credit, Chloe had some good plays, like 2 key steals and passes to Gray in transition and J.Thomas for three. There were times when she seemed to struggle just to see over Maryland's zone, much less penetrate it. It wasn't surprising to see her on the bench in the second half in favor of the taller Gray, but Wells' stint was a good one considering the competition.

Duke Takes Down Maryland, 71-64
Game Recap
Previewing Duke at Florida State

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