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Devils Dominate Gardner-Webb, 97-31
Player Stats
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Irish Rally to Down Duke, 56-54
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Irish Rally to Down Duke, 56-54
By Orin Day, Publisher
November 27, 2011



In a game that was truly a tale of two halves, #6/#7 Duke was unable to hold a 16 point halftime lead, falling to #3/#4 Notre Dame 56-54 on a Natalie Novosel buzzer-beater in the Bahamas Saturday. Elizabeth Williams faced top-notch competition for the first time in her college career and responded in kind, leading Duke with 16 points, 13 boards, and 7 blocks. Skylar Diggins led all scorers with 19 points including a coast-to-coast layup that tied the game at 54 with 25 seconds left.

Both teams had to overcome foul trouble throughout the game. Chloe Wells was whistled for two in the first 30 seconds, while Irish center Devereaux Peters got her second at the 18:06 mark. Duke exploited that absence by scoring 16 first half points in the paint, outrebounding Notre Dame 25-17, and converting 8-11 at the free throw line. Duke led 36-20 at halftime and extended that lead with Haley Peters layup with 19:15 to play, but a gigantic Blue Devil drought would follow. Elizabeth Williams drew Devereaux Peters' third foul a minute later, but Haley Peters commited her third foul soon after and the Duke wheels simply came off. In the next eight minutes the Blue Devils would score only on two Williams free throws as turnovers, fouls, and missed layups helped the Irish claw back for a 41-41 tie. Chelsea Gray stopped the bleeding with a layup basket with just over eight minutes to play but the experience of Diggins and Novosel would show. It was nip and tuck the rest of the way with both teams trying to protect their bigs for the closing minutes.

Williams reentered the game with 3:18 to play and stuck back a Chelsea Gray miss for a 53-51 Duke lead, and then drew Devereaux Peters' fifth foul with 2:22 left. It could have been a huge momentum shift, but Williams missed both free throws. Still, she bounced back to reject a Diggins shot on the next possession. Richa Jackson rebounded and was fouled, going to the line to making the second of two shots. But Kayla McBride was fouled on the next ND possession, converting one to make it 54-52 Duke with under a minute left. Chelsea Gray missed a layup that led to the aforementioned Diggins coast-to-coast tying layup, and a late Shay Selby miss went out to the Irish with a few seconds left. Natalie Novosel then hit a buzzer-beater from near the free throw line to cap the Notre Dame escape.

While the loss certainly is a painful one for Duke, it did show that they could hang with one of the best teams in the nation. The eight player rotation used by coach McCallie was extremely effective on defense, but 5-26 shooting in the second half was painful - even more painful considering that there were twelve layups missed in that period. It should be a good learning experience for a young team, and Duke will have a long flight home and several days to regroup before back-to-back home contests against Purdue and Pittsburgh.

Duke Blue Devils Team Box Score


Notre Dame Team Box Score


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Devils Dominate Gardner-Webb, 97-31
Player Stats
Irish Rally to Down Duke, 56-54
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