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#1 Huskies Beat Down Duke, 81-48
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Devils Turn Over Hokies, 69-38
The Nutshell
Previewing Virginia Tech
By Rob Clough
January 19, 2010

Duke Looks to Bounce Back Against Unpredictable Hokies


Virginia Tech - Thursday 1/21 @ 7 PM - Cameron Indoor Stadium

Last Year: 12-18, 2-12 ACC
Last Meeting: 2/19/09: Duke 62, Virginia Tech 46
Current Record: 11-6, 1-2 ACC

Significant Losses: Longtime starting point guard Laura Haskins (6 ppg, 4 rpg, 4.5 apg) finally moved on. While not an ACC-level athlete, she provided a steady presence and improved as an upperclassman. Forward Amber Hall (6 ppg) played just 8 games before getting hurt and will not return this year.

Who's Coming Back: Senior F Utahya Drye (14 ppg, 6.5 rpg) emerged as a reliable scorer for a team that needed it desperately. Senior G Lindsay Biggs (12.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2 apg, 37% 3FG) stepped into Brittany Cook's shoes and did a fine job as a long-range shooter. Junior G Nikki Davis (7.5 ppg, 3 apg) is ready to make an impact at point guard after sitting out a semester last season as a transfer student. Sophomore wing Shanel Harrison (6.9 ppg, 4 rpg) has the potential to be a dynamic scorer. 6-4 junior C Brittany Gordon (6.5 ppg, 6 rpg, 31 blocks) has the potential to be a strong low post presence on defense, but needs to watch her fouls. G Shani Grey, F Lakeisha Logan and C Elizabeth Basham are all bit-part players; Grey (3.5 ppg) will likely emerge as the most significant player in the group.


Bridgette Mitchell fouls VPI's Lindsay
Biggs during last year's game


The Skinny: The Hokies stunned ACC observers with their beatdown of UNC in Blacksburg on January 14th. They shot 49% and held the Heels to 33% shooting, making their guards miss a ton of shots. Even more impressive was Gordon, who scored at will against UNC's big but raw post players. VT has been competitive in part because of their experience but also because they're getting solid contributions from their frosh. Indeed, wing Alyssa Fenyn has become a reliable scorer who's almost up to double-digits at 9.6 ppg, 5 rpg and 4 trips to the foul line per game. Frosh posts Abby Redick and Porschia Hadley are both playing 15 minutes a game, with Hadley averaging 5 & 4 and Redick (yep, the sister of JJ) getting 4 & 4.

Harrison's coming off the bench to score 6 ppg, but it's the rest of the starters who are performing pretty well. Davis is only scoring 6 ppg, but she's dishing out 5 apg and filches 2 spg. Gordon is only averaging 6.5 ppg and 4.8 rpg, but she's playing with more confidence of late. Drye is putting up 11.5 ppg, 7 rpg and 3 apg as the team's heart & soul; this will be her last trip back to her native Durham to play. She's averaging 16 ppg in league play so far. Biggs is the team's leading scorer at 12 ppg and their only reliable three point shooter at 36% (Davis shoots around the same percentage but at a much lower volume).

VT is actually an impressive +8 on the year on the boards. Duke's focus should be on disruption: force the Hokies into turnovers (they average 18 a game and don't have great ballhandlers & passers beside Davis), attack the boards, and get to the foul line. KJ needs to attack Davis and keep her off balance, while someone will need to close out on Biggs every time she gets near the ball. If Cheek, Christmas, and K.Thomas can force the shorter Drye to take bad shots and simply contain Gordon, the Devils should be able to slowly build their lead until they take control. Duke will want to erase the bad taste of their UConn experience but will need to do it with focus and experience, not just anger.

   
  • Biggs getting open looks
 




#1 Huskies Beat Down Duke, 81-48
Photo Gallery
 
Devils Turn Over Hokies, 69-38
The Nutshell

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