DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke Blue Devil women dominated their arch rival North Carolina in Cameron Indoor Stadium last evening and in the process pushed their ACC leading record to 10-0, 19-3 overall. The Blue Devils zone defense stymied the Tar Heels (7-3 in the ACC, 17-5 overall) as they took a dominant 50-24 lead at the half and eventually won the game by a lopsided 96-56 score.
Tricia Liston led the way for Duke as they rolled in the first half going 5 of 6 from the field and 3 of 3 from the three point stripe. Liston ended the game with tying a career high with 23 points and 7 rebounds from the guard spot. “She had ice in here veins tonight and was calm and cool on the court,” said Duke Coach Joanne P. McCallie.
The Blue Devil put 5 players in double figures led by the aforementioned Liston. Richa Jackson added 17, Chelsea Gray 15, Elizabeth Williams 13 and Shea Selby 10 points respectively. Williams ended the game with her fifth double-double adding 10 rebounds to her point total and she dished out 5 assists.
The Blue Devils dominated the paint against North Carolina outscoring them 44-26 and out-rebounded them by a 45-34 margin. Once Duke took a big lead in the half, they never looked back and the Tar Heels were never a threat to stage a comeback. The Blue Devils also benefited from a stellar fastbreak scoring 25 points.
And the three point ball was good for Duke who went 10 of 20 for 30 points opposed to 2 of 14 for UNC. “I thought they would eventually start missing but they didn’t,” said UNC Coach Sylvia Hatchell.
Duke also dished 23 dimes and collected 9 blocks to the Tar Heels 1. The assist total tied their highest mark in the ACC this season. Elizabeth Williams had 6 of those blocks as the freshman sensation continued to impress. Her block total made her the all time freshman leader in the ACC and the total of 85 ranks 10th on the all time list for Duke.
Everything worked right for the Blue Devils tonight and there was a great crowd atmosphere which Coach McCallie praised in the post game press conference. She was very pleased with the win and said that when her team clicked and moved the ball they would be tough to beat. Interestingly, McCallie joked that she would cook for the students if they continued to turn out, saying she didn’t even know how to. I must disagree with her though, for tonight she served up some serious home cooking as her troops send the Heels packing with a dominating victory.
Notes of interest – The point differential was the the second largest against North Carolina and the 96 points was second to 97 in 2003. Duke shot 54.4% from the field, the ninth time this season over 50%. The 96 points were the most against an ACC team this season. The 10-0 start in the ACC this season is a best for Coach McCallie. Duke won their 28th straight ACC game in Cameron.