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Bounce-Back Devils Bounce Miami, 82-58
Game Recap
 
Previewing Duke at UNC
Bounce-Back Devils Bounce Miami, 82-58
By Rob Clough
February 3, 2011

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Player Stats and Commentary





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Duke Starters

Krystal Thomas

 
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This was another solid performance for Krystal, especially in the way she asserted herself early in the game. She was not only looking to get the ball and make a quick move, she was also looking to make a quick pass. She did have one silly play where she had the ball at the top of the key and tried to drive to the lane, a play that resulted in an inevitable charge. Defensively, Miami's undersized posts were no match for her, but Krystal also did a nice job of swallowing up penetrators and rejecting their shots. A block she had on Shenise Johnson was especially memorable. I do wonder if she's up to the task of taking on UNC's bigs, because they gave her a lot of problems in Chapel Hill last year.


Richa Jackson

 
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What was odd about RJ's coming-out party was that she looked smooth, comfortable and confident as a starter. In earlier stints this season, Jackson frequently looked confused when she was trying to run the offense. Here, she seemed to have things figured out, which in turn allowed her to react more instinctively. Her turnaround jumper near the basket after an offensive rebound is a deadly weapon. She split a double-team with an impressive (and physical) step-through. Like Krystal, RJ has good hand strength and was able to simply grab rebounds out of mid-air and hang on to them. She also looked comfortable on the perimeter, smoothly nailing a three. RJ also did a nice job of bodying up Morgan Stroman & Stefanie Yderstrom; the former had an especially bad game. Areas to work on include finishing a bit stronger off the dribble (she missed two finger rolls) and throwing some connecting passes back to teammates. That said, she and Karima were the forward combo I was envisioning starting for Duke at the beginning of the year, giving Duke a tremendously quick and aggressive attack. I think her propulsive game both inspired Christmas and gave her a little more room to operate. They reminded me a bit of the fearsome Peppi Browne/Rochelle Parent forward tandem from over a decade ago.


Karima Christmas

 
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With Jasmine out, Karima needed to step up and did. Coach McCallie hinted that when Karima gets irritated by an opponent, she tends to play better, but Rima was non-committal in response. What is certainly true is that with Jasmine out, Rima tried to be more aggressive in taking it to the basket. It didn't pay off in the first half, but it certainly did in the second period. At one point, she had scored 12 of 16 Duke points over about ten minutes. It was nothing fancy, either; just drives, free throws, finishing passes, etc. When Rima's attacking, good things happen, because her stat line was bursting with positives. She grabbed 8 boards that were more or less a consequence of her all-out hustle. She was dishing out assists all game, as she fed posts Vernerey & K.Thomas (including one pass that Krystal finished with a spectacular shot over her head) and triggered fast breaks. Duke badly needed this more aggressive Christmas, and she needs to understand that it's OK to do this in every game.


Jasmine Thomas

 
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Other than a steal & runout and a 19' jumper, Jasmine didn't score. She did make an impact as a defender with 4 steals, but this game required little heavy lifting on her part. It's a good thing, too; I'm not sure her ankle is 100% right now. The coaches and staff indicated that she would never admit to slowing down at all after she sprained her ankle a few games back, but I'd say it's a good thing that she didn't have to play a ton of minutes in this game. She'll certainly be needed against UNC.


Chelsea Gray

 
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Chelsea had kind of an odd game. Other than sinking a three early in the game and getting a steal/runout later in the half, she had trouble scoring. She missed short shots, runners and short jumpers. On the other hand, she had 3 beautiful assists in a row in the first half as Duke doubled its lead from 6 to 12. They were precise passes to Jackson and Peters for scores inside, where Duke was clearly running a play that required perfect timing and she nailed it each time. Just as importantly, her teammates were ready for her whipcrack passes. She was sloppy at times with the ball but was always active, as she cleaned up on the boards with 7 and even took a charge.



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Off the Duke Bench (in order of entry)

Allison Vernerey

 
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Allison got a lot of minutes and might have played even more if it hadn't been for foul trouble. She finished inside twice to end the first half and was her usual active self on defense. She was quite heady with the ball, finding Selby and Peters when she got double-teamed. She worked nicely with K.Thomas, forming a frontcourt that Miami had trouble handling at both ends.


Shay Selby

 
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Shay played with a lot of energy in the first half. She finished a fast break when Vernerey was trapped on the sidelines and then later found Peters in transition. She also came up with a steal & runout. Like some of the other players, she didn't play much in the second half because the lineup on the floor was doing so well. In particular, Jasmine got a lot of extra minutes because she had sat on the bench so long in the first half.


Chloe Wells

 
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This was one of Chloe's best games. She didn't attempt any long bombs, instead using her quickness to either score and drive or score and pass. When Jasmine went out, Chloe made several positive plays, including finding Christmas inside and Jackson for three. She also alertly flew down the floor when Peters came up with a steal. In the second half, she hit a running bank shot that essentially put the game away for good and found Scheer for her only basket. On one play, she drove, faked out a defender and then pulled up for a 12' jump shot. She looked active and comfortable as a floor leader and played like it.


Haley Peters

 
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After barely scratching against UConn, Haley was everywhere against Miami. She made things look easy as she found herself in the right place at the right time on more than one occasion. She finished fast breaks, moved without the basket to accept passes on cuts, snuffed out one Miami pass and then triggered a fast break and later even hit a three. By virtue of correctly executing some simple plays in a smooth manner (ie, the UConn philosophy), Haley wound up as the team's leading scorer. She did perhaps squeeze off a couple of jumpers a bit too quickly, but I took that to indicate that she was feeling confident and loose within the flow of the offense. It's that sense of purpose and understanding of where and when to run that can make up the difference against an opponent with greater overall team quickness.


Tricia Liston

 
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Tricia got caught up in a numbers game here. With the success of Richa and Karima, as well as the highly aggressive play of Haley, there simply weren't enough minutes to go around. That said, she had a key offensive rebound and stickback late in the first half that sparked a 6-0 Duke run. She also finished a fast break when Jaz broke Miami's press.


Kathleen Scheer

 
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Leener alertly finished when Chloe was double-teamed and got her the ball. She didn't play much otherwise, only entering the game in the first half when Vernerey and Peters had picked up 2 fouls apiece.




Bounce-Back Devils Bounce Miami, 82-58
Game Recap
 
Previewing Duke at UNC

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