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#2 Duke Doubles #15 UT-Martin, 90-45 (Photos)
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#2 Duke Doubles #15 UT-Martin, 90-45
By Rob Clough
March 19, 2011



DWHoops Photo by Orin Day
Jasmine Thomas led all scorers with 18 points.
Jasmine Thomas led all scorers with 18 points.

Duke wound up easily defeating #15 seed Tennessee-Martin in the first round of the NCAA tournament, but coach McCallie noted that the team will have a few things to work on if they're going to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament. In particular, Duke's rebounding against a tiny Skyhawk team was not up to snuff, as the Devils outboarded UTM just 38-30. In an occasionally lethargic first half, the teams battled to a draw on the boards. Coach McCallie was pleased with the team's focus and edge in the second half as the Devils absolutely throttled UTM, holding them to just 14 points and 26% from the floor. Every Duke player got double digits in minutes, scored at least 4 points and grabbed 1 rebound. The best stats of the game for Duke were season bests in assists (25) and turnovers (8).

UTM coach Kevin McMillan told his team before the game that he expected Duke to try to come out and knock them out in the first five minutes. For a moment, it seemed like that might happen, as Duke bolted out to a quick 10-2 lead as they made their first five shots. Shay Selby had a couple of assists and drained a three during this run. UTM battled hard and beat Duke's press a couple of times, blew by Duke defenders more than once and even got a couple of key second-chance baskets (they astoundingly had a 4-1 edge in that category in the first half). They cut Duke's lead to 15-10 with 13:27 to go in the first half, which was close as they would get.

Duke responded with 6 straight points as Chloe Wells scored on a drive and the Devils got a couple of easy looks in the post. Duke pushed the lead up to 30-17 on a Jasmine Thomas three on a well-designed inbounds play and then used pressure to stake out a 37-22 lead with 2:20 remaining. It looked like Duke's depth and pressure was starting to take a toll. Instead, the Skyhawks outscored Duke 9-4 down the stretch, with 4 points from the foul line and a wide-open, banked in three. Duke was playing a small lineup with both K.Thomas and Vernerey on the bench, but even a smaller, quicker lineup wasn't getting it done on defense and Duke was now lacking its size advantage.

After what she described as an "aggressive" speech at halftime, Coach McCallie's charges got after UTM with a pummeling 13-2 run to start the half. Karima Christmas, who played just nine minutes in the first half thanks to picking up 2 fouls, was in full-on attack mode as she lobbed the ball into Vernerey and scored in transition, off the dribble and on a three point play. McMillan said that his team was running out of gas and that "once the snowball was rolling, we just jumped in the middle of it and our arms were flailing and it looked like we were rolling down a big hill." That sums up the action in the second half as the Devils had a 24-2 edge in points off turnovers and 14-4 on second-chance points. During the last six minutes of the game, all five Duke frosh were on the floor for the first time since they played Albany, and they closed the contest with an impressive 17-4 run. The game assured Duke's ninth 30-win season and 24th consecutive win in Cameron.

Top Performers

  • DU Jasmine Thomas: 18 points, 5 assists, 2 steals
  • DU Krystal Thomas: 8 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals
  • DU Karima Christmas: 8 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists

Duke Blue Devils Team Box Score


Tennessee Martin Team Box Score


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NCAA: #10 Marist 74, #7 Iowa State 64
#2 Duke Doubles #15 UT-Martin, 90-45 (Photos)
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