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Blue Devils posts Haley Peters and Elizabeth Williams scored 25 points each at Virginia Tech.
Duke All-American guard Chelsea Gray drives past Virginia Tech's Lauren Evans on Thursday at Cassell Coliseum.
Duke's Chloe Wells (left) and Virginia Tech's Lauren Evans scramble for a loose ball on Thursday at Cassell Coliseum.
Friday, February 15, 2013
BLACKSBURG — Duke offered more evidence Thursday as to why it is the best women’s basketball team in the ACC.
The fifth-ranked Blue Devils beat Virginia Tech for the 19th straight time, cruising to a 77-33 win at Cassell Coliseum.
Forward Haley Peters and center Elizabeth Williams each matched her career high with 25 points.
“I’ve never coached two post players to each get 25. I’ve been coaching 21 years,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said.
Duke (23-1, 13-0) is atop the ACC standings. But is Duke a Final Four team?
The Blue Devils have lost in the Elite Eight the past three years. Considering they lost at Connecticut 79-49 last month, one has to wonder if they can close the gap with UConn, Baylor, Stanford and Notre Dame and beat one of them in a possible Elite Eight game next month to make the Final Four.
“There’s definitely been a gap, and it’s our job to close it,” McCallie said.
What did the UConn game reveal about the difference between Duke and the Huskies?
“They played harder for longer,” McCallie said. “That’s something we think about a lot. And that was … why we pushed the ball tonight and not walked it down the floor. We don’t have that luxury. We’ve got to get better, … try to really play at that tempo.”
The Hokies (8-16, 2-11) suffered their most lopsided defeat since a 90-40 loss to Duke two seasons ago.
The 6-foot-3 Peters, who played just 28 minutes, had a career-high four 3-pointers. She also had 10 rebounds and two blocks.
The 6-3 Williams, a third-team All-American last season, had seven rebounds and two blocks in 29 minutes.
Williams and Peters did not go to the bench for good until there was 5:01 left and 3:29 left, respectively.
“My job is to develop my team to the fullest,” McCallie said. “This is not high school. I’ve got All-American players. I’ve got great players. Elizabeth was moving so well. … I owe her that, for her to be out there and doing what she does.
“We’re trying to win championships and someday win a national championship. You do that by having a program that breeds intensity.”
The Hokies double-teamed Williams in the early going, leaving Peters open. Peters made two 3-pointers and a jumper to give Duke the lead for good at 8-0.
Tech, which lost at Duke 58-26 last month, was once again without starting post players Uju Ugoka and Taijah Campbell because of injuries.
“We guarded them better the first time when we had both of those girls playing,” Tech coach Dennis Wolff said.
The Hokies shot just 27.8 percent from the field against Duke’s zone defense.
“We pass up what we think as a coaching staff are good shots and end up toward the end of a shot clock struggling to get a shot up,” Wolff said. “You’re not beating that zone by just constantly passing the ball around the outside of it. You’ve got to get into the gaps.”
Tech turned the ball over 23 times. Tech had more turnovers (18) than points (14) in the first half.
Duke led 31-11 with 5:26 to go in the first half. At that point, both Peters (13 points) and Williams (14 points) had outscored the Hokies.
The Blue Devils cruised even though All-American point guard Chelsea Gray had two points, 11 below her average.
“We just have so many weapons, and people off the bench that are so good,” Peters said.
Peters 8-12 5-6 25, Williams 9-14 7-8 25, Jones 3-6 0-0 6, Wells 1-4 2-2 5, Gray 1-8 0-0 2, Moore 0-3 0-0 0, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Jackson 0-1 6-8 6, Liston 3-4 0-0 8, Vernerey 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 25-54 20-24 77.
VIRGINIA TECH (8-16)
Hadley 1-4 0-0 2, Wilson 1-8 0-1 2, L. Evans 3-9 0-0 6, Fenyn 3-4 0-0 7, Tellier 2-8 0-0 4, Young 2-10 0-0 5, N. Evans 1-1 0-0 2, Kiss-Rusk 1-3 0-1 2, Lloyd 1-7 1-2 3. Totals 15-54 1-4 33.
Halftime—Duke 40-14. 3-Point Goals—Duke 7-15 (Peters 4-5, Liston 2-3, Wells 1-3, Gray 0-1, Jackson 0-1, Jones 0-2), Virginia Tech 2-13 (Fenyn 1-2, Young 1-4, Hadley 0-1, L. Evans 0-2, Lloyd 0-2, Tellier 0-2). Fouled Out—N. Evans. Rebounds—Duke 44 (Peters 10), Virginia Tech 25 (Wilson 5). Assists—Duke 15 (Gray 7), Virginia Tech 8 (Lloyd 3). Total Fouls—Duke 10, Virginia Tech 19. A—1,648.
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