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ACC: Duke Holds Off Wake, 77-68
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ACC: Duke Holds Off Wake, 77-68
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ACC: Duke Holds Off Wake, 77-68
By Rob Clough
March 6, 2015


Analysis and Stats (JS)



In memory of Jim Sabiston

Game Analysis

Why Duke Won: They turned 21 Wake turnovers into 26 points and ruled the paint 40-28. Duke survived a sloppy, choppy and foul-filled game with little rhythm thanks to timely scoring runs that put Wake into desperation mode.

Why Wake Forest Lost: The Deacs shot just 19% in the first half and 3-16 from three. If you can't make threes against Duke, you generally will not win.Wake also had no answer for Kendall Cooper inside.

The Game Turned When...: Duke went on a 9-0 run in the second half, reestablishing a double-digit lead when Wake had pulled within three.

X-Factor: Shot-blocking. The Devils had 10 blocks, including 6 from Williams and 3 from Cooper. They also forced a number of hurried shots with their length.

Key Stat: Duke dominated points off turnovers 26-15, which was key because getting those easy baskets was crucial in a game where offense wasn't always easy to come by.

Areas for Improvement: Duke was out of position on the boards way too often, which resulted in 24 offensive rebounds for Wake and a lot of fouls. The Deacs tried to pass into the teeth of the zone too often and in general tried to force their offense instead of finding ways to adjust.

Ramifications: Duke goes on to the quarterfinals and most likely preserves their top-16 seed in the NCAA tournament. Wake's Cinderella run is over, but this experience will be very good for their young players.

Duke Starters (from post to point)

Amber Henson

 
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Henson gave the team a scare by limping off the court after she scored early in the game. Mercifully, she later returned and had a few good moments, like finding Greenwell for a three or scoring twice on feeds from Williams. The second was part of Duke's game-sealing run. Henson can't really jump anymore, which may have limited her rebounding a bit, but it seemed like she was getting outhustled for some boards.


Azurá Stevens

 
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Azura' struggled from the field but was a perfect 8-8 from the line, displaying tenacity in finding ways to attack the basket. Early in the game, she scored on a pass from Williams and hit a three. In the second half, she hit a close shot and then knocked down a whole bunch of foul shots. Along the way, she put up yet another double-double and played solid defense.


Elizabeth Williams

 
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Even when Liz isn't scoring, she can still dominate. In the first half, she had just five points, but she piled up 12 rebounds and 5 blocks along the way. She also found Stevens and Cooper for baskets when she was being double-teamed. In the second half, she scored on a drive that proved to be the beginning of a game-sealing run. Liz went high for rebound after rebound and dominated Hamby for one final time in college.


Ka'lia Johnson

 
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KJ makes mistakes and rarely makes huge plays, but her intensity on defense and calming influence on offense simply makes the team play better. Early in the game, she inbounded the ball off the back of a Wake play and then got fouled when the ball bounced back to her. She found Henson inside and Cooper on an inbounds. She hit a leaning jumper to put Duke up by 17 late in the game. Duke could really use some more offense from her, but there's no question that she's doing things to help the team.


Rebecca Greenwell

 
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While Greenwell only shot 1-5 from three, she proved that she's more than just a shooter. In the first half, she got Duke going with a pair of drives and a dish to Stevens for a three. Later, she had a steal and layup, a long jumper and a pass to Cooper for a jumper. She had a big three in the second half when Wake was making a run and hit another shot when Duke was struggling. She was aggressive but not reckless in going after passes aimed for the interior.



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Off the Duke Bench (in order of entry)

Kendall Cooper

 
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Kendall scored on an early basket on a feed from Williams but then left the game with an injury. She even went off to the locker room to have it tended to. Fortunately, it was nothing serious, because when she came back in, she immediately hit a long jumper, scored on a left-handed hook and then hit another hook plus the foul. Late in the game, Duke went to her repeatedly, as she scored on a spin, had a stickback, finished a pass from Henson and scored on an easy inbounds play. She later scored on a drive and hit 2 free throws. She did not rebound well but did a great job defending, though she did eventually foul out.


Erin Mathias

 
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Erin struggled with fouls and never got into a rhythm.


Mercedes Riggs

 
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Mercedes played well on defense, picking up a steal and taking a charge. She was just 2-4 from the line, missed both of her open threes and had a couple of careless turnovers.




ACC: Duke Holds Off Wake, 77-68
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ACC: Duke Holds Off Wake, 77-68
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