Duke Women come up just short of Final Four

Rick Crank Photo

MEMPHIS, Tenn.– The sixth-ranked and second-seeded Duke women’s basketball team had its 2009-10 campaign come to a close on Monday night as 14th-ranked and fourth-seeded Baylor defeated the Blue Devils 51-48 at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn.

Duke was held to a season-low 23.1 percent shooting and matched a season-low with 48 points.  The Blue Devils were led by Jasmine Thomas with 16 points and Karima Christmas with 10 points and 12 rebounds.  Thomas, Christmas and senior Joy Cheek were all named to the Memphis Regional All-Tournament team.

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Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie

OPENING STATEMENT
It was a very interesting basketball game. It was a very hard fought, physical contest. I’m very proud of our team’s efforts and the fight they showed out there. I think that there was a lot of fight and hustle on both sides with both teams. It was a possession basketball game. Everything about a possession basketball game is critical, and that’s what it was: A very exciting, possession basketball game.

Did your team get nervous toward the end of the game?
I think our players were trying to attack. When Krystal Thomas was fouled out, that’s the game. There’s the story. That’s it.

What did you think of Krystal Thomas’s defense against (Brittney) Griner?
She was critically responsible for making (Brittney) Griner work so hard. What Krystal Thomas did was tremendous and outstanding. Obviously, Brittney Griner is just a young, developing, excellent player. She’s very hard to defend. If you take our best 6-4 player (Krystal Thomas) out of the game for the last three minutes, it changes the game enormously. And they took advantage, and (Brittney) Griner scored right away.

We did the best we could with what we had. Our kids were great. Our team fought very, very hard. They shouldn’t be hard on themselves at all. They’re just terrific people. Just did a lot of great things on the floor.  But we didn’t have anyone over 6-0 for pretty much the last three minutes on the floor.

The young freshman, Allison (Vernerey), is doing terrific as well, but with this environment was a little much to expect her to be the difference maker Krystal (Thomas) was. I just wish Krystal (Thomas) could have finished that game. That’s all. That would have made it interesting.

Duke Senior Forward Joy Cheek

Talk about the struggles you had scoring during the game?
It had a little to do with patience and taking the right shots. At the beginning of the game, we moved the ball a lot and kept them on their toes. We attacked more and got to the line.

What was it about Baylor’s defense that made it so difficult to score?
(Brittney) Griner. When you have somebody in the paint with shot-blocking ability like that, it can make it difficult for you to take the shots you want to take.

Talk about the defensive job you did on (Brittney) Griner. She earned everything she got, and you really banged her around.
We take pride in getting stops, and we knew she was a big part of their offense. We wanted to make it tough for her and make sure she took hard shots she really earned.

Duke Junior Guard Jasmine Thomas

Talk about the struggles you had scoring during the game?
At the end of the game, we got some looks we wanted. We just needed some second shots.

You guys missed your first 10 shots, and it seems as though you were trying to compensate for (Brittney) Griner and see where she was. Was it like that?
If she’s standing in the middle of the paint, you don’t want to take it right at her. We were trying to draw her out, trying to pick and choose our shots. We may have missed our first 10 shots, but a lot of them were right in the paint with her.

What was it about Baylor’s defense that made it so difficult to score?
They have quick guards on the perimeter. We got by them, but with (Brittney) Griner in the paint, it makes you think twice about going all the way to the basket. When we did pull her out, we still settled for outside shots. We could have taken to the basket.

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Blue Devil Postgame Notes   *  Baylor  *  NCAA Tournament  Regional Semifinal  *  March 29, 2010

With The Duke Loss:
*       Concluded the season with a 30-6 overall record.
*       Fell to 43-17 all-time in NCAA Tournament play.
*       Coach P dropped to 16-14 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
*       Is now 11-4 all-time when seeded No. 2 in the NCAA Tournament.
*       Snapped a six-game winning streak.
*       Dropped to 8-4 this season against ranked opponents.
*       Fell to 4-4 all-time in NCAA Regional Final action.
*       Dropped its first ever contest against Baylor.
*       Moved to 10-7 all-time against Big 12 teams.
*       Fell to 2-4 all-time versus No. 4 seeds in the NCAA Tournament.

Junior Jasmine Thomas
*       Finished the game with 16 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal.
*       Named to the Memphis Regional All-Tournament team.
*       With her one steal on the night, became just the second Duke player to register 100 or more steals in a season (Alana Beard).
*       Her 1,168 points this year is the most minutes played in Duke’s single-season history.
*       Notched double-figure scoring for the ninth straight game and the 32nd time this season.
*       Started her 60th straight contest.
*       Finished with 577 points this season, which is the seventh-highest single-season point total in school history.
*       Hit one three-pointer to finish the year with 63 treys made on the season, which is fourth on the Duke single-season charts.

Senior Joy Cheek
*       In her final collegiate game, had seven points, six rebounds, four steals and one assist.

*       Named to the Memphis Regional All-Tournament team.
*       Moved into a tie for fifth on Duke’s all-time games played list with 137 games played.
*       Played in her 124th straight game.
*       Broke a streak of seven games without a three-pointer as she hit one in the second half.  Missed 11 in those games.
*       Finished her career with 679 rebounds, which ranks 12th all-time in Duke history.

Junior Karima Christmas
*       Finished the game with 10 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks.
*       Posted her second double-double of the season and third of her career.

*       Named to the Memphis Regional All-Tournament team.
*       Came off the bench in the first half and notched eight points, six rebounds and one block in 15 minutes.
*       In the last game versus San Diego State, played 16 minutes, had zero points and two rebounds.
*       Notched double-figure scoring for the 18th time this season and the 28th of her career.

Senior Keturah Jackson
*       Hit only 1-of-8 field goals on the night.
*       Finished with three points and five rebounds.

Senior Bridgette Mitchell
*       Had six points, five rebounds and one assist in 21 minutes.
*       Dealt with foul trouble most of the game and finished with four fouls.

Junior Krystal Thomas
*       Had eight points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks.
*       Fouled out for the first time this season and the second time in her career.

Other Duke Notes:
*       Shot a season-low 23.1 percent from the field.
*       Pulled down 19 offensive rebounds.
*       Playing in its 16th consecutive and 17th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
*       Fell to 0-6 this season when shooting under 40.0 percent from the field.
*       Lost for the first time this season when holding an opponent to under 60 points (22-1).
*       Hit only 3-of-17 three-point field goals.
*       Outrebounded Baylor, 48-42, for the game.
*       Held a 14-4 advantage in second chance points.
*       Tied a season low with 48 points scored.
*       As a team, took four charges on the night (Mitchell, Thomas, Jackson and Cheek).

Official Basketball Box Score — Game Totals — Final Statistics
#14/18 Baylor vs #6/6 Duke
3-29-10 6:00 p.m. at Memphis, Tenn. (FedExForum)
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VISITORS: #14/18 Baylor 27-9
TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
15 Shanay Washington… f  1-3    0-0    2-2    0  2  2   1   4  0  0  0  0  11
55 Morghan Medlock….. f  0-4    0-0    0-0    0  6  6   0   0  0  0  0  0  24
42 Brittney Griner….. c  6-13   0-0    3-8    4  7 11   3  15  1  1  9  0  40-
05 Melissa Jones……. g  4-13   0-5    2-2    2  1  3   3  10  1  1  0  2  36
21 Kelli Griffin……. g  3-5    1-1    0-0    0  8  8   4   7  4  5  0  0  35
01 Kimetria Hayden…..    1-5    0-2    5-6    1  1  2   3   7  1  3  0  2  21
03 Jordan Madden…….    3-10   1-4    1-2    1  2  3   4   8  1  1  0  0  24
20 Terran Condrey……    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  3  1  0  0   9
24 Ashley Field……..    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  1  0  0  0  0+
TEAM…………….                            6  6
Totals…………..   18-53   2-12  13-20   8 34 42  18  51 12 12  9  4 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  8-29 27.6%   2nd Half: 10-24 41.7%   Game: 34.0%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  0-6   0.0%   2nd Half:  2-6  33.3%   Game: 16.7%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  5-8  62.5%   2nd Half:  8-12 66.7%   Game: 65.0%   5,1
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HOME TEAM: #6/6 Duke 30-6
TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
15 Bridgette Mitchell.. f  3-8    0-0    0-0    3  2  5   4   6  1  1  0  0  21
21 Joy Cheek……….. f  2-10   1-3    2-2    2  4  6   1   7  1  4  0  4  33
34 Krystal Thomas…… c  2-7    0-0    0-2    1  4  5   5   4  2  0  1  0  26
05 Jasmine Thomas…… g  4-18   1-7    7-8    0  3  3   1  16  1  1  0  1  39
31 Keturah Jackson….. g  1-8    1-2    0-0    3  2  5   2   3  1  0  0  0  27
03 Shay Selby……….    0-3    0-2    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  1  10
13 Karima Christmas….    2-9    0-3    6-8    6  6 12   1  10  0  1  2  0  29
43 Allison Vernerey….    1-2    0-0    0-0    1  4  5   2   2  1  3  1  0  15
TEAM…………….                         3  4  7             1
Totals…………..   15-65   3-17  15-20  19 29 48  16  48  7 11  4  6 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  8-33 24.2%   2nd Half:  7-32 21.9%   Game: 23.1%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  1-8  12.5%   2nd Half:  2-9  22.2%   Game: 17.6%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  9-12 75.0%   2nd Half:  6-8  75.0%   Game: 75.0%    1
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Officials: Lisa Mattingly, Susan Blauch, Marianne Karp
Technical fouls: #14/18 Baylor-None. #6/6 Duke-None.
Attendance: 3263
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
#14/18 Baylor……………..   21   30  –   51
#6/6 Duke…………………   26   22  –   48
2010 NCAA Women’s Tournament: Memphis Regional Final