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Stanford Bests Duke, 71-55
Player Stats
Devils Outduke the Dukes, 79-65
The Nutshell
Previewing James Madison
By Rob Clough
December 17, 2009

The Surprising #24 Dukes Have 2 ACC Wins This Season

James Madison - Friday 12/18 @ 7 PM - Cameron Indoor Stadium

Last Year: 24-10, WNIT Second Round
Current Record: 7-0

Significant Losses: Shot blocking post Nina Ugdah has moved on after averaging 5 ppg, 7 rpg and 1.5 bpg. The Dukes also lost their second and third-leading rebounders in Kisha Stokes, who was good for 6 ppg and 6 rpg; and Lauren Jimenez, who averaged 9 ppg and 6 rpg.

Who's Coming Back: JMU returns their top five leading scorers. At the head of the list is dynamic scoring machine Dawn Evans, who averaged 24 ppg, 3 rpg and 5 apg (she also shot 35% from three). This will be one of the toughest one-on-one perimeter scorers Duke will face all season. She has a capable group of teammates headlined by 6-0 wing Sarah Williams (9 ppg, 5 rpg, 30% 3FG). 6-3 post Jalissa Taylor (7 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 27 blocks) and 6-0 guard Courtney Hamner (6 ppg, 3 rpg, 2 apg) round out the starters. Guard Brittany Crowell (4.5 ppg, 3 rpg, 35% 3FG) played significant minutes off the bench, as did Kiara Francisco (3 ppg, 2 rpg).

The Skinny: The Dukes are one of the better mid-major programs around, and they've already defeated Georgetown, Virginia Tech, Liberty and Virginia--the latter two games on the road. In that latter game, Evans outdueled Monica Wright and dropped 38 points on the Hoos. Evans has been aided by the quick emergence of frosh guard Tarik Hislop, who's averaged 14 ppg and 4 rpg so far. Frosh post Nichelle Glover has fit in nicely by putting up 7 ppg and 4 rpg.

Evans is currently averaging an absurd 26.5 ppg and is sinking 39% of her threes. She is turning the ball over an average of 6 times a game, however. Williams is averaging 8 & 7, while Taylor's putting up 6 & 6. JMU goes 8 deep with Francisco hitting for 5.5 ppg, frosh post Nikki Newman is giving them 2 ppg and 4 rpg and soph Kanitra Shepherd is averaging 5 ppg and 5 rpg.

The Dukes have size, shooting and a dynamic lead guard who loves to score. Evans has taken a third of the team's entire shot total, and 2/3 of the three point attempts. She also gets to the line (7 times a game), which is obviously a priority for this team since they've gone to the line a remarkable 26 times a game so far this season.

James Madison is not a great rebounding team, only outrebounding opponents by 0.4. They also don't generate a lot of points off the pass (only 10 assists a game against 17 turnovers). Duke's mandate is clear: pressure Evans with a variety of defenders, press her when possible and get up in her face at all other times. She will turn the ball over if pressured, and so Duke needs to bring it. Duke needs to turn JMU's slashers into pull-up jump shooters and needs to block out so as not to let the Dukes get extra opportunities at the hoop and/or fouls. If Duke can stay out of team foul trouble throughout the game, and if they can force Evans to work hard for their points, they should have enough quality size and depth to win without too much trouble. If they let Evans get into any kind of scoring rhythm, then it could be a long night.

  • The Dukes at the foul line

Stanford Bests Duke, 71-55
Player Stats
Devils Outduke the Dukes, 79-65
The Nutshell

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