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NCAA: Devils Survive Albany, 54-52
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NCAA: Devils Survive Albany, 54-52
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NCAA: Devils Survive Albany, 54-52
By Rob Clough
March 20, 2015


Analysis and Stats (JS)



In memory of Jim Sabiston

Why Duke Won: The Devils were +16 on the boards and held Albany to 30% from the field, including 5-17 from Richards and 7-21 from Tate. Getting those stops when needed, and getting key shots from Greenwell led Duke to the narrow win, despite 27 turnovers.

Why Albany Lost: They simply weren't big enough to keep Duke off the boards and were a step slow in getting to Greenwell off of screens. Otherwise, they absolutely outhustled Duke. Better shooting also could have made a difference, as the Danes took 18 more shots than Duke but made one fewer field goal.

The Game Turned When...: . Rebecca Greenwell hit a three to put Duke ahead with 14 seconds left. That play capped a series of events that were a combination of good luck for Duke and extreme hustle.

X-Factor: Erin Mathias. Her 6 straight points in the second half came when Duke was otherwise struggling to score. McCallie noted that they felt like 12 points instead of just 6, given the nature of this game.

Areas For Improvement: Duke has to be cleaner with the ball and play with greater purpose. While Albany made great plays to get steals, Duke simply made a lot of sloppy plays.

Ramifications: Duke survived and will go on to play Mississippi State on Sunday. Albany can savor their season after the bitterness of the loss fades away.

Duke Starters (from post to point)

Elizabeth Williams

 
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Liz struggled from the field, scoring only on a hook and a stickback. She did go to the foul line 10 times (making just 5), but she had a key play when she forced a jump ball after she missed a crucial foul shot late in the game. On defense, she was a nightmare for Albany, blocking all sorts of shots that came near her.


Azurá Stevens

 
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After struggling in the first half, Azurá scored four quick points in the second half, scored in transition to put Duke up late and hit a huge foul shot at the end of the game after she had secured a big-time rebound. This was a learning experience for the young player, one that will hopefully translate to the next round.


Amber Henson

 
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Amber had a fine game, hitting several jump shots early in the game (including a three), grabbing rebounds and moving the ball around nicely. While she got tagged for a couple of turnovers, they weren't open-floor flubs. In a game where two of Duke's stars had subpar scoring efforts, her contributions were crucial.


Ka'lia Johnson

 
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KJ was marvelous on the defensive end, harassing Tate endlessly and zooming around the floor for 38 minutes. She had some excellent passes, including a brilliant full-court strike to Stevens and the game-winning pass to Greenwell for three. That said, she continues to be a liability in terms of being a threat to score; her jump shots were ugly and Albany made sure to crowd the paint to keep her away from the basket.


Rebecca Greenwell

 
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Becca overcame some early yips with some killer shooting, and there were a couple of other shots that rattled in and then out. She grabbed a key rebound near the end of the game and overcame her turnover difficulties Greenwell has become a true "next play" player and is even learning how to recover when someone beats her off the dribble.



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Off the Duke Bench (in order of entry)

Mercedes Riggs

 
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Mercedes had a dish to Greenwell for three and grabbed a board, though one of her open-court passes was picked off and led to a score.


Kendall Cooper

 
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Kendall struggled with Albany's pressure and missed a makeable shot. She did hit a foul shot.


Erin Mathias

 
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Erin had a highly efficient game, scoring on a post-up stickback, got a loose ball and scored and then scored on a feed from Stevens. She gave an offense-starved team a huge lift, and hopefully this will help with her confidence.




NCAA: Devils Survive Albany, 54-52
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NCAA: Devils Survive Albany, 54-52
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