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NCAA: DePaul Threes Burn Duke, 74-65
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Devils Etch Limestone, 100-33
Analysis
Devils Etch Limestone, 100-33
By Rob Clough
October 30, 2014


NOSH Nutshell: Duke Kicks Off 2014-15 With Win


The work in progress that is the 2015 Duke team took a few more steps in the right direction with their first contest against live competition. Limestone College, a preseason top 5 Division II squad that went to the Elite Eight last year, proved to be a game and competitive opponent, though they were clearly overmatched. Duke's potential and its problems were both highlighted in a game that featured a lot of interesting play from its young players and solid consistency from its veterans.

Limestone actually hung around for a couple of minutes, before Duke's size and pressure led to a 22-0 run. The duo of Elizabeth Williams and Oderah Chidom overwhelmed the tiny (no player over 6-1) Saints, with Williams scoring on a cut, a stickback and free throws. For the game, she was 6-8 from the line. She still has that weird hitch in her form, but the shots seemed to go in more often. Chidom scored on a drive and got fouled and made another hoop, and then finished on a cut. Limestone, a team that won because of its balance, was not reduced to trying to drive and kick or set high picks to generate shots. For the first fifteen or so minutes of the half, they weren't finding many opportunities, as Duke pushed the lead up to 39-8.

In the last few minutes, Duke's defense got sloppy and started putting the Saints on the foul line. They were only 5-11 from the stripe, which boosted Duke's lead, but there was some ugly basketball being played. Azura Stevens, for example, had her hands down on the perimeter on one possession and gave up a three. On another possession, she was in the wrong place. Rebecca Greenwell also had her hands down against a smaller team. Mercedes Riggs threw the ball away and was beaten off the dribble on another possession. Greenwell fought back with a stickback, two free throws and a dish to Chidom; she was one of many players who bounced back from poor play. Still, Duke held a 29 point lead at the half and dominated every category but turnovers, as Duke coughed it up 13 times vs 18 times for Limestone. Many of those turnovers were committed trying to get the ball inside, especially high lobs that were misfires.

Limestone continued to compete early in the second half, but fatigue started to set in against a Duke defense that did a much better job defending against the three; the Saints shot just 1-13 from distance in the second half. The Saints managed just 2 points in the last twelve minutes of the game, as the deep reserves got minutes and struggled. Greenwell dominated during this stretch, nailing a trio of treys and finding Williams for a three point play. Stevens was outstanding as well, scoring on stickbacks and drives. Duke's offense was far more fluid and made the defense work much harder. In the first half, shooters were taking threes when the ball was passed around to them on the perimeter. In the second half, the ball moved quicker and many passes came out of the post or were completely reversed against a distorted defense.

For the game, Duke put up some gaudy stats: 46-4 points in the paint, 38-5 points off turnovers, 19-2 second chance points, 17-0 fast break points, +37 on the boards, etc. In essence, they pressed their advantages and weren't beaten inside. There were things to correct: Duke took too many off-balance shots, there was occasional disorganization on the defensive side, too many turnovers, too many fouls, etc. The Devils didn't have to face a team with a dominant wing or big. There will be time to deal with all that later, but this young group flashed a lot of promise. Top Performers:



  1. Elizabeth Williams, Duke. 18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks. Worked mostly in the post, but her quickness was remarkable. Looked aggressive and mobile, especially on the boards.

  2. Oderah Chidom, Duke. 19 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists. She's just more confident than she was last year, and her perimeter skills are greatly improved. Her handle is such that she felt comfortable attacking the hoop and finishing. A couple of her turnovers came from wresting rebounds away from her teammates and then stepping on the baseline.

  3. Rebecca Greenwell, Duke. 24 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals. When she squares up and is balanced, she simply does not miss. She rushed a few shots in the first half, but proved just how deadly she is in the second half. Not bad for her first competition against a live opponent in eighteen months.


Duke Blue Devils Team Box Score

PTSFGFG %3FG3FG %FTFT%AO-D-REBBLKSTLTOPF
TOT10036-6654.58-2433.320-3066.72424-32-565172518

Limestone (Exh) Team Box Score

PTSFGFG %3FG3FG %FTFT%AO-D-REBBLKSTLTOPF
TOT3310-4820.84-2615.49-1850.069-11-20153419


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NCAA: DePaul Threes Burn Duke, 74-65
Photo Gallery
 
Devils Etch Limestone, 100-33
Analysis

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