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Duke Fends Off Michigan, 60-45
Player Stats
 
Christmas Trims the Tree, 56-52
The Nutshell
DWHoops Minus 10: 1999, Part 4
By Rob Clough
December 10, 2008

We continue our look back at the 1999 Duke Blue Devils


Editor's Note: We have suspended publication of this series and will resume after the 2009 season has concluded. Thank you for your patience.

After a three game breather, it was time for Duke to see where they really stood as a team. They matched up against mighty Tennessee for the first time in a made-for-TV event called the Elite Four Classic. The game was held on a neutral court in Orlando and may have been the most important learning experience of the year for the team. The Lady Vols were three-time defending national champs, powered by the Three Meeks: national player of the year Chamique Holdsclaw, future WNBA star Tamika Catchings and solid third option Semeka Randall. That team also had a talented frosh in Michelle Snow, lots of depth and a solid point guard in Kellie Jolly. That squad did have weakneses, however, and Coach G went to work on them in this game.

The only problem was that Duke wasn't prepared for Tennessee's press nor the ferocity of their offensive rebounding in the first period. The Lady Vols stormed out to a fifteen-point halftime lead, thanks in part to the shooting touch of center Teresa Geter. Duke's guards couldn't hang on to the ball and started to pull the trigger on threes too quickly. The good news from this game is that Duke played Tennessee even in the second half as Rochelle Parent and Peppi Browne proved effective defending Holdsclaw and Michele Van Gorp could not be contained (22 points, 6 rebounds). Duke would be ready the next time the two squads faced each other.

Duke returned to Cameron two days later to squash Hampton. The Devils had trouble shooting threes, but they forced plenty of turnovers and had seven players score at least 8 points. The semester was winding down and Duke's players were now being given a chance to heal and recover while practicing harder. The team would soon have a chance to really refine its chemistry before taking on its full ACC season.



Duke Fends Off Michigan, 60-45
Player Stats
 
Christmas Trims the Tree, 56-52
The Nutshell

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