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Devils Fend Off Auburn, 75-62
Player Stats
Blue Devils Topple Hilltoppers, 82-55
The Nutshell
Previewing Western Kentucky at Duke
By Rob Clough
November 19, 2010

Lady Toppers Invade Cameron

Western Kentucky University -- Sunday, November 21, 2:00 PM, Cameron Indoor Stadium

2010 Snapshot: 21-11, 14-4 Sun Belt, WNIT First Round

Last Meeting: 11/26/2009 (Cancun) -- Duke 70, WKU 47.

Current Records: Duke 3-0; WKU 0-2

Significant Losses: The Lady Toppers lost two of their top four scorers. That includes shooter Kenzie Rich (10 ppg, 2 apg, 29% threes), and wing Dominique Duck (10 ppg, 5 rpg). WKU also lost shooter LaShay Davis (7 ppg, 38% threes) and guard Courtney Clifton (4 ppg).

Who's Coming Back: WKU's leading scorer (and leader) Amy McNear returns after averaging 11 ppg, 4 rpg, and 4 apg. Forward Arnika Brown always provides a tough matchup after averaging 11 ppg and 11 rpg; she returns for a fifth year after a year of eligibility was restored after her transfer from Kentucky. Hope Brown is the lone returning shooter, averaging 5 ppg and 33% from three. Forward LaTeira Owens averaged 4 ppg and 4 rpg. Forwards Keisha Mosley & Teranie Thomas put up 3.5 ppg & 2 rpg and 2 ppg & 1 rpg, respectively. Wing Vanessa Obafemi averaged 2 ppg and 2 rpg.

The Skinny: The perimeter of the team that has given Duke some trouble over the past two seasons has pretty much been gutted. Duck was the heart of the team, while Rich and Davis could stretch a defense. The Lady Toppers will have to see what last year's reserves have to offer, along with frosh guard Chaney Means (a shooter who will be a likely starter) and Louisville transfer Janae Howard. Owens played extremely well in the preseason, getting 16 points and 14 rebounds against Lindsey Wilson. Having McNear around will be a big help for the younger players, who will look to her as a go-to player, distributor and defensive stopper. Unfortunately for the Toppers, McNear was suspended for the first three games of the season for violating team rules--a game that includes Duke on Sunday.

They were dominated by Louisiana Tech on the road when McNear was out, as Means and Brown put up goose eggs. However, H.Brown, Howard, Owens and Mosley were all in double figures. Down 16 points at the half, WKU rallied a bit before settling for a tie in the second half against a La Tech team that wasn't very deep. Foul trouble was an issue for WKU in this game, with four players picking up 4 fouls apiece. WKU lost to Northwestern at home after falling behind by double digits, but they rallied to make things close before the Wildcats closed things out with free throws. Howard and Brown once again were in double digits.

This will be a respite game for the Blue Devils as a home game nestled between a trip to Auburn and then a three game road trip. As such, Duke will have to be careful not to be too casual with the Lady Toppers. The Devils didn't do a great job rebounding against Auburn and will need to make this a focus. The next step in Duke's development will be connecting players a bit better. When Duke's fast break was on, it was a devastating weapon against the Tigers. In the halfcourt, the Devils didn't always do a great job in generating baskets for each other. Making the right pass in the right place should be a priority for the Devils as well.

  • Brown getting a double-double.

Devils Fend Off Auburn, 75-62
Player Stats
Blue Devils Topple Hilltoppers, 82-55
The Nutshell

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