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NCAA: Devils Storm Past St. John's, 74-47
Player by Player
NCAA: Stanford Takes Out Duke, 81-69
The Nutshell

NCAA: Duke vs. Stanford Preview
Looking at the 2012 Fresno Regional Final
Published March 26, 2012

By Rob Clough

#2 Duke vs #1 Stanford

Monday, March 26th, 9:00pm, (ESPN networks)

Last Meeting: December 16, 2009 - Stanford 71, Duke 55 - Read More

Current Records: Duke 27-5 (15-1 ACC), Stanford 34-1 (18-0 Pac 12)

Current Rankings: Duke #6, Stanford #2

For a general look at Stanford's roster and style of play, please reference our Fresno regional preview. This post will break down key matchups in this game.

Post Play: Duke is one of the few teams in the country who can match up with Stanford's frontcourt, throwing 6-5 Allison Vernerey, 6-3 Elizabeth Williams, 6-3 Haley Peters and 6-2 Kathleen Scheer at 6-2 Nneka Ogwumike, 6-3 Chiney Ogwumike 6-3 Joslyn Tinkle, 6-3 Taylor Greenfield and 6-5 Sarah Boothe. A couple of things jump out here: Duke has no one who can match up with Nneka one-on-one, and the Devils might be able to exploit Chiney. Nneka dropped 39 points on a tough South Carolina team, simply shooting over smaller players with her deadly short-range jumper. Haley has the size to deal with Nneka, but not the quickness. She's going to need Tricia Liston to help out with her, and possibly Elizabeth Williams. Duke might want to consider going to its super big lineup with Peters, Williams and Allison Vernerey and move Peters over to guard Tinkle (a much more favorable matchup), have Alli check Chiney and leave Nneka to Liz. If Duke does this, they have to make sure that they have a backcourt combo that can put up some points to balance out the loss of Liston in that lineup. Duke is having success in the postseason in part because of the pressure their offense is exerting on other opponents to get them to keep up, and Liston is a big part of that as a defense-stretcher. Chiney has a gimpy knee, and this is something that Liz might be able to exploit on offense, assuming she's close to her usual self on the floor. She will likely have to play a lot of minutes in a close game and will have to be wary of foul trouble; she must attack, but can't pick up a cheap offensive foul by lowering her shoulder. Tinkle is a potential x-factor if Duke helps off of her a lot, much like Peters is a player who gets a lot of open shots because Williams finds her when she gets doubled. I don't think Stanford will bring the double much, preferring to let their starters lock up their opposing numbers. This means that it's up to Liz to be aggressive when she gets the ball in scoring position.

Perimeter: Duke has the advantage here, with Chelsea Gray, Shay Selby, Tricia Liston and Ka'Lia Johnson matching up against Amber Orrange, Toni Kokenis and Lindy La Rocque. The Devils can't be overconfident here despite Gray's overall talent level and Selby's game-raising play the past week or so. Instead, they have to concentrate on turning the Stanford guards over and preventing them from getting their bigs the ball in good scoring position. While I'm not sure Duke can stop Stanford's post players one-on-one, they can prevent them from touching the ball as much as the Cardinal would like. Obviously, Gray and Selby have to hit some threes for Duke to win. Preferably, those shots would come from inside-outside ball reversal.

Offenses: Stanford will try to establish the Ogwumike's first, and sag just a bit at first to see how well Duke is shooting. Duke must try to deny the Cardinal repeated fast breaks after missed shots.

Defenses: Stanford will mostly stick with man-to-man for the duration of the game. Duke will start off in man-to-man in an effort to see what Stanford's guards can do, how the defense is dealing with Stanford's top scorers, and how they get the ball. If Nneka and Chiney are destroying Duke inside, the Devils will move to the matchup zone in an effort to make it a little harder for Stanford's bigs to get the ball. However, that will create the risk of leaving Tinkle wide open on the wing and giving Stanford's guards an opportunity to shoot.

NCAA: Devils Storm Past St. John's, 74-47
Player by Player
NCAA: Stanford Takes Out Duke, 81-69
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and ACC Women's Basketball from 2006 to the present day via ACC WBB Digest.

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