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Previewing Duke at Virginia
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Duke Squashes Virginia, 71-48
Player Stats

Duke Squashes Virginia, 71-48
By Rob Clough
February 24, 2011



Duke's road win over Virginia was not perfect, but there was a lot to like about it. It was a win over an RPI top-50 club (UVa was #49 coming into the game). The Devils quickly established a huge lead with a game-starting 22-5 run; they even spotted the Hoos the first 4 points of the game. Duke played stifling defense, shutting down every one of Virginia's scoring threats. Duke held UVa's top three scorers to 8-36 shooting from the floor and gave up just 5 other field goals. Virginia was fighting for their tournament lives but Duke quickly put an end to their hopes.

The negatives for Duke included putting the Hoos on the line 21 times; more than a third of their points came from the stripe. The Devils turned the ball over 23 times under Virginia's pressure, but they also were able to get lots of easy baskets; indeed, Duke shot 50% in the second half. Duke was only challenged briefly in the second half as UVa forced 5 early turnovers and trimmed an 18 point halftime deficit to just 9 points with fifteen minutes left in the game. Duke reasserted control with a 13-0 run that featured 8 points from Chloe Wells and a three from Tricia Liston. Fellow frosh Haley Peters also had a fine game as she scored 12 points. Virginia's last gasp was cutting a 22-point deficit to 15 with about five minutes to go, but a three by Jasmine Thomas and some pressure defense quickly put 7 more points on the board for Duke.

Without a brilliant individual talent, the Hoos simply didn't have enough firepower to mount a sustained comeback while also stopping Duke. Their posts were no match for Duke, as Allison Vernerey had 11 points & 10 rebounds while Krystal Thomas continued her Rodman-like rampage with 16 boards. She's poised to lead the conference in rebounding (conference games only). Duke kept its rotation tight in this game, but it was the frosh who moved up and the juniors who took a step back after several games where the reverse was true. Liston drilled 4 treys and grabbed 5 rebounds. She earned her first career start at off guard as Jasmine Thomas moved back to her old point guard role. Wells played 18 minutes at point, allowing Jasmine to go off the ball.

The win guaranteed that Duke will finish no worse than second in the ACC. Only Miami can finish ahead of Duke now. The tiebreaker between the two teams would go to Duke by virtue of their win over the Hurricanes. Both teams have challenging opponents remaining: Duke has UNC on Senior Day, while Miami is facing Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Regardless of where Duke is seeded, they will likely face one of Boston College, Virginia, NC State or Wake Forest in their first round ACC tournament game. Of that group, NC State is the hottest team; Duke certainly doesn't need to be reminded of what happened in Raleigh this year. State's fighting for a last-ditch WNIT bid and so will continue to be highly motivated. Duke has a lot on the line on Sunday: another regular season championship, an undefeated home slate, and a revenge game against their arch-rival. We'll see if they're equal to the task.

Previewing Duke at Virginia
Duke Squashes Virginia, 71-48
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