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NCAA: Duke Dominates Samford, 82-47
Player Stats
NCAA: Duke Rolls Over Vandy, 96-80

NCAA: Duke Rolls Over Vandy, 96-80
Published March 21, 2012


By Rob Clough

Duke dispatched Vanderbilt with extreme prejudice to advance to the Sweet Sixteen once again. This was one of Duke's most impressive performances in the NCAA tournament under Joanne P. McCallie, especially given that they had to play a true road game against a team that had lost just once in their Memorial Gym all season -- and that was in overtime. Throw in the effects of a heat wave in Nashville producing an on-court temperature of around 90 degrees, and Duke's performance is all the more amazing. The Devils play in frequently steamy Cameron Indoor Stadium, so a little heat didn't seem to phase them in the least. Indeed, the heat seemed to have the unwelcome (from Vandy's perspective) side effect of keeping away fans: only 2000 people showed up to see this game. As a result, the gym didn't get as hot as it could have and the crowd was a total non-factor, especially when Duke seized control.

The game was close for the first six minutes or so as both teams piled up points to tie the score at 16. The only difference was that Vandy was killing itself getting those points with offensive rebounds while Duke seemed to score effortlessly. Elizabeth Williams proved to be a nightmare match-up for the Commodores, opening up all kinds of space for herself while distributing the ball to open shooters and cutters. Chelsea Gray carved up Vandy's defense with ease. Duke went on a 26-4 run midway through the first half that included making nine straight shots. Vandy looked shellshocked during the run as Duke's offense looked like it was going up against cardboard cutouts of players. The Devils were certainly hitting shots, but Vandy did little to pressure the ball, step out on shooters or stop penetration. Duke attacked off the dribble, they attacked using high-low passes, they drew in defenders and then passed to open shooters and they got extra shots with offensive rebounds. Vanderbilt eventually recovered and was able to put up 12 points in the last five minutes of the half. But Duke wound up scoring 14 more points during that span, extending their lead to 56-32 at the break. Haley Peters, acting as Duke's safety valve on offense, smoked Vandy with 15 points in the first half alone. Williams had 11 points and Gray had 10 as Duke shot 68% in the half.

When Liston opened up the second half with a three, it was clear that Duke was going to force Vandy to outscore them. The Commodores would cut the lead to under 20 and had a few opportunities to cut further into that margin, but untimely missed foul shots and turnovers prevented them from getting any real momentum. A 6-0 burst with 7:38 left pushed the lead back up to 26, punctuated by a spectacular steal by Gray, followed by a behind-the-back pass in transition to Ka'lia Johnson for a score. Vanderbilt actually outscored Duke by 10 the rest of the way as they started to bomb away from the three point line. Duke started to get sloppy, turning the ball over 11 times after only two first half miscues. Some of that was attributable to fatigue and some to slowing down the pace of the game, but it was the one negative in a game that featured a dominant performance by the offense. Duke used its defense to create offense, with a 19-2 first half edge in points off turnovers that put Duke firmly in command. All five starters were in double figures for Duke, who withstood 12-26 shooting from three by Vandy to advance with relative ease.

Top Performers:

  1. Tricia Liston, DU: 23 points, 4 assists. Liston was someone Vandy was willing to have beat them, and Tricia made them pay. A combination of drives and jumpers hurt Vanderbilt consistently.

  2. Christina Foggie, VU: The SEC's leading scorer had 26 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Se wasn't as aggressive as she needed to be in the first half, which wound up hurting her team.

  3. Haley Peters, DU: She had a career high 25 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Serving as Duke's safety valve, Peters spent her time attacking what opponents gave her rather than hesitating to take the open shot. Throw in great defense and a strong effort on the boards, and you have one of her finest games at Duke.

Duke Blue Devils Team Box Score


Vanderbilt Team Box Score


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NCAA: Duke Dominates Samford, 82-47
Player Stats
NCAA: Duke Rolls Over Vandy, 96-80
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