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Previewing Duke at Miami
Previewing #10 Florida State at Duke
Miami Outlasts Cold Duke, 61-53
By Rob Clough
February 7, 2016

Two Point Second Quarter Impossbile to Overcome

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BANKUNITED CENTER -- Duke (17-8, 6-5 ACC) endured a historically bad on their way to a 61-53 loss to Miami (20-4, 8-3 ACC), as they sank into seventh place in the ACC. Duke was without Azurá Stevens for a second straight game with a torn plantar fascia, so Angela Salvadores moved into the starting lineup. The matchup with the #16/#20 Canes was one of Duke's two remaining chances to post a regular season win against a ranked team, or for that matter an ACC team above them in the current standings. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils remained outside of the Top 25 polls in consecutive weeks for the first time since the 1994-95 season.

After the first five minutes of the game, the Canes and Devils were tied at 9 apiece after South Florida native Crystal Primm hit a jumper. Miami had hit a couple of threes to offset work done by Oderah Chidom and Angela Salvadores. After that score came a Dust Bowl's worth of drought, as the Devils missed 24 straight shots, not scoring from the field in the next 15 minutes of play. Duke scored just two points in the second quarter on free throws and finished the first half with only 11 points, shooting a mere 12%. Miami was not much better, as the score sat at 9-9 for nearly three minutes before Laura Cornelius hit a three, and the Canes finished the quarter at 15-9. Their second quarter wasn't much better, as Miami scored just 12 points, but it was enough to take command of the game. When they went up 24-9 five minutes into the quarter, the score got stuck there for two minutes.

As bad as that second quarter was for Duke, the third quarter was a virtual turnaround. Miami star Adrienne Motley drilled a three to put her team up 30-11, but the Canes relaxed a bit and Amber Henson hit a jumper to end the long drought. Amber then found Oderah inside for a three point play, cutting the lead to 14. Rebecca Greenwell hit a jumper and scored on a drive to make it 31-20.

Miami got free throws and a three from Jessica Thomas to push the lead back up to 14 with 6:27 to go in the quarter, and Motley scored in transition to put Miami in firm control of the game. A Greenwell trey brought Duke to within 12, but Miami scored on a crucial stickback. Duke was now in a rhythm, as Greenwell found Chidom inside. Motley got another offensive rebound and was fouled, hitting both. Henson scored to make it 42-30, but Chidom scored again.

Henson had a huge block that soon set up Salvadores finding Chidom before Miami could get organized on defense. That brought Duke to within 42-34 and prompted a time-out. Duke got a stop but Henson missed a three, but Chidom got fouled on the rebound and made both freebies. Once again, Motley scored with just three seconds to go in the period to push Miami's lead back to eight. That was a killer basket.

Duke had multiple chances to score in a fast-paced first minute of the fourth quarter but couldn't do it, as Motley scored in transition plus the foul to give Miami an eleven point cushion. The Canes slowly built on their lead, going up 54-38 on a Motley three with 6:37 left. The score got stuck there for nearly three minutes until Primm hit a shot and Henson sank two free throws. Amber nailed a three with 3:27 left to bring Duke to within 54-45 and it was suddenly a game again.

Miami got a bucket but fouled Greenwell taking a three, and she nailed all three shots. Miami kept missing free throws and Duke was still knocking on the door, as Greenwell hit 2 more freebies with 1:38 left to make it 57-50. Miami got a basket from glue player Keyonna Hayes and Duke didn't score again until Greenwell hit a three with seven seconds left to make it 60-53, but it was too little, too late for Duke at that point. Greenwell finished with 16 points, and Hayes & Thomas had 13 apiece for the Canes. In the end, the game was as close as it was purely because of Miami's 17 turnovers and 12 missed free throws. While Duke limited their turnovers to 13, missing 72% of their shots (including 12 layups) more than offset that positive number.

DWHoops Nosh Player of the Game: Oderah Chidom, Duke. With a career-high 18 points, Oderah helped rally Duke in the second half before she fouled out just at the finish. She gamely played most of the second half with four fouls and little fear.

Five Fast Observations About Duke-Miami

Presented in memory of Jim Sabiston
  1. Too Many Second Chances. The real key to Duke's loss overall was that they not only lost the rebounding battle, they also gave up 14 offensive rebounds that Miami cashed in for 16 points. The Devils needed to have a decisive edge on the boards in order to win.

  2. The Defense Never Rested. It should be noted that despite Duke's historically bad first half, they did hold Miami to just 27 points on 35% shooting. The Devils protected the rim well and played hard and well enough at the defensive end to win. They just couldn't get good shots.

  3. When You Find Yourself In A Hole, Stop Digging. One of the big problems with Duke's first half was that they tended to try the same things over and over again, hoping that sheer regression to the mean might make a shot go in. That only put more pressure on the team to try to execute the same plays that didn't work for a half, which took away any chance at offensive rhythm.

  4. Stars Find A Way. Miami's Adrienne Motley is one of the best players in the league, and despite needing 18 shots to get there, she manufactured 21 points on free throws, threes and drives.

  5. Shooting Blanks. Duke's young guards absorbed a painful 5-27 shooting day. Another problem that Duke had was missing 8 of 24 free throws. On a day when Miami was practically begging Duke to make the game close by missing 12 foul shots, Duke had a chance to keep things closer and couldn't quite do it.

Previewing Duke at Miami
Previewing #10 Florida State at Duke

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