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2012 NCAA Nashville Pod Preview
NCAA: Duke Dominates Samford, 82-47

NCAA: Duke Dominates Samford, 82-47
Published March 18, 2012


By Rob Clough

Duke made a statement in their first round NCAA tournament win over #15 seed Samford, as they established control from the opening tip, kept it going through the half and then continued to pile on in the second half. This game was a series of best-case scenarios for Duke, who dominated in every phase of the game. Elizabeth Williams played and played well; it didn't seem as though she was too limited, which leads one to believe that she's probably been dealing with the stress fracture in her leg for a few weeks. Duke's defense shut down a team that loves to shoot threes, holding them to just 28% from long range. Duke got balanced scoring, as four of five starters wound up in double figures. The team got plenty of rest, as no one played more than 33 minutes. Even Duke's bench played well, piling up 15 points and 11 rebounds. Granted, Samford is not an elite opponent, but the Devils have played down to the level of their opposition a number of times this year. In this contest, Duke played up to the level of their own potential and crushed a team that was very hot going into the postseason.

The Devils started the game on a 7-0 that soon ballooned into a 16-3 advantage. Coach McCallie opted to start Tricia Liston ahead of Kathleen Scheer, ostensibly to give Duke more of an offensive punch to start the game. Liston responded with 5 quick points and a team-high 22 for the game. Samford pulled within 12 points with about 3:30 left in the half, but Duke turned up the defensive pressure and went on an 8-2 run to end the half. Liston scored on a layup and then stole the ball and fed Chelsea Gray for a score. Duke took that momentum and quickly built on it, as Gray, Liston, Williams and Haley Peters all bombarded Samford with a variety of jump shots and drives. Duke pushed the lead to 20 three minutes into the half and up to 30 eight minutes into the half. Duke simply cruised from there, never letting the lead dip below 29. The Devils did great work at the free throw line, going 22-25. Duke was +18 on the boards and transformed 18 turnovers into 26 points. Most importantly, this group was able to get some experience playing on Vanderbilt's weird floor. The Devils will need to be just as sharp when they play Vandy on Tuesday and stay in that same attacking mindset.

Top Performers:

  1. Tricia Liston, DU: 22 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals. Liston was aggressive at both ends of the floor, hitting open jumpers but also attacking the basket and coming up with key steals. In order to be a great team, Duke needs Liston to be great. If Duke wants to go far in the NCAA tournament, they will need Liston to be great in every game. So far, so good.

  2. Chelsea Gray, DU: 16 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals. The sloppy and distracted Gray from the ACC tournament was nowhere to be found in this game, as Chelsea dissected Samford's defense with ease.

  3. Haley Peters, DU: 13 points, 7 rebounds. Haley hit shots inside and out, and did a good job on the boards. That's what Duke will need her to do.

Duke Blue Devils Team Box Score


Samford Team Box Score


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2012 NCAA Nashville Pod Preview
NCAA: Duke Dominates Samford, 82-47
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