Category Archives: Duke Women’s Basketball

Duke Women’s Basketball Media Day Quotes

Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie

On freshman transition from high school to college.  What is one thing you are emphasizing?
“Just really keeping them attacking all the time on defense and on offense. I think they understand attacking on offense better than they understand attacking on defense. So we are really trying to get that aggressiveness up. It’s really important that they make aggressive mistakes versus passive ones. You know aggressive mistakes are ones that you can coach and live with.  Passive mistakes don’t get you very far and don’t allow you to develop. So that is the biggest thing I can say for our young players is to just to be really getting after it on both sides of the ball and to be understanding of value of both sides of the ball. In high school, often there is not that value simply because kids dominate with offense. But these young folk know that they are going to be going against junior and seniors, I mean that is pretty much what is going to happen.  So it’s important to be thinking like a junior or senior a little bit and trying to push yourself to take those steps.”

On team chemistry
“I think as a coach you can try and help it with the combinations and the different things you do but in reality I think that it occurs during game play and experiences together to. You have to let the team have experiences together, but I think we can help it along as coaches, different subbing patterns that we do at various times. It’s kind of an exciting part of developing a team because you, essentially you do start all over again. No matter what you did the year before, we had some really great experiences last year.  Those are terrific memories but you have to create new ones and your back to creating them all over again.”

On the skills of the freshmen:
“We hope they are going to be extremely aggressive, help us with our offensive rebounding. We also hope they are going to help us spread the floor a little bit with their shooting ability to — so [that will] give us more spacing relative to what they can do offensively. And we also hope that they enjoy playing together and finding what I call our shot — you know the best shot for our group at the moment. We are learning that as you can see from the Blue/White.  I mean we have rims in our eyes and springs in our arms and make no mistake about it, 40 three’s going up so I think we had to get that out of our system, which is I think I will just shoot at any time. That mentality, we’ve got to have a little bit of a plan behind what we do and we have to work together to create what I consider our shot and we haven’t done that yet.”

On the offensive priority:
“The priority is to play great basketball which is move the basketball — play inside out sure, get it into the paint. Paint shots are very important, as a matter of fact, championships are pretty much won on paint shots. Perimeter shots are very important to, so as I call it an equal opportunity, everybody on the floor, I think we’ve got five people in five different spots that can create and the judgment piece and the maturity piece is what will be needed as where the ball should be.”

On the post player’s condition:
“We are in great in three ways and not in great shape in one way. Haley Peters and Kathleen Scheer are really providing us with some quickness, some shooting ability and Krystal [Thomas] is rock solid. After Ali [Allison Vernerey] hit her head in practice you know — a couple of things; a hit to the nose and the next day [she] smacked her head pretty good on the ground.  We are taking it really slow with her. So I would say that we are not full.  We are not full but we have three folks with Karima [Christmas] as well dabbling in a floor spot also.”

Senior Krystal Thomas

How do you think you’ve evolved this season? Can you talk about your growth?
I’ve definitely made it a point to be in the best condition that I can. I’m just really making sure that I run as much as I can. I’ve also gotten a lot stronger, which always helps. So that, even when I’m out there, I’m not out there getting pushed around — I can fight back. Also, just working on my face up game, being able to pass better, as well as hit the open outside jumper.

What is this team’s identity? What do you guys do best?
Right now I am not exactly sure, come back and ask me in a few weeks. Right now we are just so balanced, so versatile, that it is hard to tell what is going to be our strength. Last year we were a very defensive minded team and that is something we definitely want to carry over to this year. We also want to add to that, we also want to add the offensive component so that teams can’t label us as a one dimensional team.  So that we can attack in many different ways.

What is your comfort level with Allison [Vernerey]?
It’s definitely grown a lot. The beauty of playing with Allison is that she is very easy to flow with. We complement each other very well because we are very opposite. She can get down there; run the floor with the guards, whereas I am much more the power, more physical post. I can play on the perimeter; she can play on the outside. We can complement each other. It works really well to have two bigs offensively and defensively in the lane.

Freshman Haley Peters

What skills do you think the freshman class brings to the offensive scheme this year?
I think we have a balanced class, in terms of offense. We definitely have some good shooters and an attacking mindset. We have two great point guards who can handle the ball and are great passers. As I said, it’s a great balance I think.

How do you see yourself working with Krystal and Allison, when she’s healthy?
I’ve grown a lot just in practice, playing against them, because they are so physical and strong. I think that I can add a little bit of outside shooting, but KT [Krystal Thomas] can really shoot the ball from outside now. I’ve just been learning from them every practice, what they do and the moves that they use.

Freshman Tricia Liston

Coach P said that all of the freshmen bring something different, what do you bring?
I think the ability to score and shoot outside.

Have you always been an outside shooter? Who taught you? How young did you start?
My dad taught me. I started as soon as I could hold a basketball because my three older sisters played and I was always tagging along and my dad always coached them.

Were you always a pure shooter?
Right at a young age I got the form down and that is usually the hardest thing for a young kid to learn, not using two hands. Once I got the form down I loved the game so much that it just kind of came when I was little.

You had option, why did you choose Duke?
It was competitive in the classroom and with athletics. Every year you hear about Duke Women’s basketball, Duke men’s basketball and the atmosphere here is centered on basketball. Everyone here is a huge basketball fan, which I have been since I was a kid — both watching and playing. Also, just being on a team that has the potential to do really great things and win a lot of basketball games.

When was the first time you can remember paying attention to Duke women’s basketball?
As a kid, every girl who plays basketball here is about Duke, UConn and Tennessee so it started off more as a dream to me, as a dream school.

Did your parents influence your decision?
They pretty much left it up to me. They knew that what made me happy, made them happy. Also, since I’m the last one, they are going to get to travel and see all of my games.

Shooting is your first skill; defensively did you have to do some work?
I definitely have had to do some work and I still have to continue to work.

What is the biggest difference?
The speed and also every girl that you are defending can potentially score. In high school, you can be guarding somebody that you can’t expect to put the ball in the basket even once.

Senior Karima Christmas
You have a difficult non conference schedule this year right off the bat. How will you prepare for that and the tournament in April?
I think really just playing your game. Not trying to change and do something different. A lot of players when they first come in try to do too much. It’s just do what you know how to do and do it to the best of your abilities. Anything that you do, and contribute is going to help us out in the long run.

What have you noticed about Krystal Thomas during workouts this year?
I think her conditioning, especially after being out as a result of her surgery. Just being conditioned is enabling her to stay out on the floor for more minutes. I can note it from last year to this year, how much more conditioned she is, how much longer she can stay out there and be a threat.

Have you seen her (Thomas) work at it? Passing drills and extra practices…
She’s definitely stayed after practice and put in extra reps — did extra agilities just to try and get back a little extra.

What does it mean to have her be able to stay in there for more minutes?
It’s about depth. Her and Allison will probably rotate in and out for each other. But her ability being able to stay out there more will allow them to play together more, giving us more subs to come in for them. Since they can stay in longer it won’t be a big deal to play them for long stretches of time together.

Freshman Chelsea Gray

On what she did this summer to prepare herself mentally and physically for college ball?
“Mentally, I just knew that I had to come knowing I’m going to be surrounded by great people.  I just had to come in here knowing that I had to work hard non-stop.  I just knew coming here that I had to adjust to everything — the speed, the tempo, everybody.  I had to come working hard every day.  In the summer, we came here as a collective group and did some things with our conditioning coach that really helped a lot.”

Junior Shay Selby

On recovering from injury:
“It still gives me a little bit of a problem when I do certain things, but it’s mostly back to normal.  The brace helped me back a lot, especially on defense and quickness.  It was hard to move, cut, stuff like that.”

On confidence:
“It’s alright…getting up there.  It’s hard coming off an injury and then being hurt for a while.   But right now, I’m healthy and I just need to focus on doing everything right.”

On the non-conference schedule:
“I think our schedule is pretty good this year.  We have a lot of teams we played last year and unfortunately lost to.  So, hopefully we’ll have a payback year and we can put everything together and make it all the way to the top. ”

On growth of freshmen on team:
“I think they’ve grown a lot so far.  Once we get into games and they have to deal with pressure situations, I think it will be good for them.”

Comparing this year’s team to last year’s:
“We have more offensive threats with the freshmen coming in.  A lot of them look to score and distribute the ball.  I think that it will be to our benefit.  Like last year, we struggled shooting and handling zones.  Having more threats from the perimeter will help us tremendously.”

Senior Jasmine Thomas

On the upcoming season and this year’s team:
“I’m excited.  Definitely losing B [Bridgette Mitchell], KJ [Keturah Jackson] and Joy [Cheek], you lose rebounding, you lose defense, and you lose scoring.  It’s good that we have five freshmen that can come in and fill all of the things that we lost.  It’s a very weird feeling to not have them around, but I’m also very confident in what we have on this team.  We have a bunch of scorers, we’re quick and strong, and we have the ability to defend just like we did last year.”

On Chloe’s [Wells] development under her guidance:
“I see a lot of myself in Chloe as far as how aggressive she is and how she can attack.  She shoots well which is something I admire about her and she can also set people up.  I’d like to take her under my wing if she’d let me.”

On her expectations for this year (personal goals):
“My personal goal is just to be the best that I can.  Whatever that takes me to — whether it’s another ACC Championship, a NCAA Championship, or All-America – that’s fine.  But I can’t focus on that because just because I get that doesn’t mean I’m the best I can be.  I don’t think I’ll ever get there, but that’s my goal – to keep trying.”

Freshman Chloe Wells

On adjusting to college ball:
“I’m having a lot of fun.  It’s a growing period for me.  I’m the smallest and the weakest so far, but I’m getting in the weight room.  I think the biggest difference is the pace of the game, but I feel like I’m learning that now.”

On how she was prepared to make this mental transition:
“Playing with my dad, he always had us play up.  Most of the girls I’m going to play against are juniors and seniors and I’ve already played up against different people, so I know that I need to bring it.”

On what she has learned from Jasmine [Thomas]:
“Her work ethic – whether we are on the court or off the court, she is always going hard.  She’s always first.  I admire that about her, especially on defense.  She’s just relentless, and that’s something I’m trying to do now.  And on offense, when she’s not looking for her shot, she’s looking to create for others.”

One thing that Coach P harps on?
“I have to talk.  I’ve got to lead.”

For more coverage visit GoDuke.com

Blue Devil Women entertained two of the nation’s top prospects in Laney and Fagbenle

Laney takes it in the paint for Team USA - courtesy USA Basketball

DURHAM – The Duke Women’s Basketball team will sport one of the best freshman classes ever to come through Duke this season after a banner recruiting season but the Blue Devils will not rest on their laurels.  The Blue Devils have targeted some of the nations top prospects and two of those visited campus this past weekend.

One of the prospects in town was Betnijah Laney one of the class of 2011’s best and Temi Fagbenle.  Laney stands 6-0 and is in the process of moving to the wing and by all accounts that transition is going smoothly.  Laney was first termed a power forward but most analyst think she will be a wing forward in college.  She had a very successful summer where she was one of the better players on Team USA U-16’s Gold Medel team.  Duke is high on the prospect as are several other schools which include UConn, Rutgers and Virginia.

Temi Fagbenle is currently playing for Blair Academy and she got there via her hometown of London, England in an effort to prepare to play her college basketball state side.  The word on the recruiting trail is that she has showed great strides in her game and she possess all the tools to become a solid and versatile player at the next level.  Fagbenle stands 6-4 and is being courted by Duke, Connecticut, Rutgers among others.  She is ranked amongst the nations best and plays AAU ball for the Philly Belles.

Coach P’s Duke Women open the season with their annual Blue-White scrimmage on October 24th.  Duke welcomes five five new freshman which we’ll talk more of in our women’s pre season preview coming next week to BDN.

Top prospect Shabazz Muhammad is high on Duke

Shabazz Muhammad played near the rim during his afternoon game at Duke on Saturday - Photo property of Rick Crank Productions in conjunction with Blue Devil Nation. Stsy tuned for updates and interviews from the Nike event in Los Angeles and the Tournament of Champions in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill

Durham, N.C. – BDN is on the scene this weekend to bring you coverage not only of the TOC, but the Nike EYBL session 3 in Los Angeles.  Look for some great offerings as the week goes on as we begin to churn out information from a busy holiday weekend.  One of the highlights of this weekend’s Tournament of Champions event is the play of Shabazz Muhammad, a Las Vegas native with all the tools for success. During yesterday’s event Muhammad dazzled the crowd at the Wilson Rec Center on the Duke campus with his play.  After starting slowly, Muhammad warmed up for 30 points on a jump shots and slashing drives.  More impressive is the fact that he plays both ends of the floor well where I counted four blocked shots from his wing  position.  Muhammad glowed when Duke was mentioned after this game as you will hear in this [private] audio –

More to come including scouting reports – [/private]

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.

—-

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.

—-

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)
——————————

————————————————–
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
——————————————————————————–
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
——————————————————————————–
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

Duke Women Sweet 16 bound with 60-52 win over LSU

Jasmine Thomas drives to the Sweet 16 -Rick Crank Photo

DURHAM, N.C.—Sixth-ranked and second-seeded Duke (29-5) advanced to its 12th NCAA Regional over the last 13 years as the Blue Devils downed 21st-ranked and seventh-seeded LSU, 60-52, on Monday night in Cameron Indoor Stadium.  Junior Jasmine Thomas registered 15 points and senior Bridgette Mitchell added 12 for Duke, who held LSU to only 28.6 percent shooting in the second half.

The Blue Devils will next play in the Memphis Regional on Saturday, March 27 against the winner of the West Virginia/San Diego State contest.

For a full recap, click on www.GoDuke.com

Blue Devil Postgame Notes   *  LSU *  NCAA Tournament  Second Round  *  March 22, 2010

With The Duke Victory:

  • Improved to 29-5 overall on the season.
  • Advanced to the NCAA Regionals for the 12th time out of the last 13 years.
  • Moved to 42-16 all-time in NCAA Tournament play.
  • Won its 14th straight home NCAA Tournament contest in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
  • Improved to 8-3 this season against ranked opponents.
  • Owns a 16-2 overall record in NCAA Tournament action in Cameron.
  • Coach P improved to 15-13 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Moved to 26-13 all-time against Southeastern Conference teams.
  • Improved to 16-1 this season at home and matched a school record with 16 home victories in 2009-10.
  • Is now 10-3 all-time when seeded No. 2 in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Coach P improved to 39-4 in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
  • Improved to 135-10 in Cameron Indoor Stadium over the last 10 years.
  • Is now 30-1 in Cameron Indoor Stadium the last two years.
  • Moved to 2-1 all-time against No. 7 seeds in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Improved to 4-3 in the series history against LSU.

Junior Jasmine Thomas

  • Finished the game with 15 points, five rebounds, three steals and one assist in 36 minutes.
  • Notched double-figure scoring for the seventh straight game and the 30th time this season.
  • Started her 58th straight contest.
  • With her five field goals attempted, now owns 484 for the season to rank fourth on Duke’s single-season list.

Junior Karima Christmas

  • Registered nine points, six rebounds, one assist and one steal in 31 minutes.
  • Double-figure scoring streak was snapped at five straight games.

Senior Keturah Jackson

  • Notched eight points, two rebounds and three steals.

Senior Bridgette Mitchell

  • Collected 12 points, six rebounds and three steals.
  • Snapped a nine-game streak without scoring double-digits.
  • Scored the most points since Feb. 11, 2010 when she had 12 points against N.C. State.

Junior Krystal Thomas

  • Notched six points, two blocks, three rebounds, one assist and one steal in 22 minutes.
  • Blocked two or more shots for the fifth straight game.

Senior Joy Cheek

  • Had eight points, five rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal in 32 minutes.

Other Duke Notes:

  • Allowed a season-high 52.4 percent shooting in the first half.
  • Held LSU to only 28.6 percent field goal percentage in the second half.
  • Playing in its 16th consecutive and 17th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Improved to 25-0 this year when shooting over 40.0 percent from the field.
  • Moved to 21-0 this year when holding opponents to 60 points or under.
  • Was outrebounded, 15-11, in the first half and finished the game with a 32-27 rebounding advantage.
  • Outrebounded LSU, 22-12, in the second half.
  • Forced 22 LSU turnovers, which marks the 23rd time this season an opponent has 20+ turnovers.
  • Had only three offensive rebounds in the first half but came back in the second to post nine to finish with 11.
  • Registered 13 steals, which marks the ninth straight game with 10 or more steals for the Blue Devils.
  • Hit only 1-of-10 three-point field goals.
  • Held a 14-0 advantage in bench points.
  • Advanced to the Memphis Regional where it will play the winner of the West Virginia/San Diego State contest on Saturday, March 27, 2010.

Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie

Opening Statement:

“It was a tremendous basketball game. There were so many ties, lead changes, and so much excitement. Very physical play out there, a terrific basketball game overall. LSU is a terrific basketball team and I am really proud of our team. Especially, the second half defense with the field goal percentage that was forced. The way our team stayed together as a unit and the way our team communicated and stayed together. Particularly, some of the plays that were made by various people, certainly the players sitting to my right here Karima Christmas, Bridgette Mitchell, Jasmine Thomas, and I have to add Joy Cheek to that list. They made big plays and very strong finishes and we were very happy to outrebound LSU because they are a terrific rebounding team and we were down in the first half in that area. We are very excited and looking forward to moving forward.”

On senior class play on the game…

“I think Keturah [Jackson] is someone who was 6-of-6 last game and 4-of-5 this game. She is focused, she is relaxed, and she is quite sure of what she can do out there. She has been through a lot in her career injury wise, in particular her shoulder injury and I think she is such a committed person of integrity that she is going to take advantage of every opportunity. She is quite but remarkable.

“For Bridgette, she is kind of our city slicker, our tough hard nose. She has a lot of energy and she has become one of the best bench because of her energy because we rotate our starters. You have to love her on the bench because she is so loud and she comes in with her energy and hits those dagger shots and everything else. It was great to see her attack the way she did.”

“Joy is just a very focused player, she has very high IQ about basketball. I know she was upset about her play early in the game but she didn’t hang her head. She is not one to let things get to her. She let it fuel her to play better.”

Senior, F/G, Bridgette Mitchell

On her offensive mindset for the game…

“I think that my teammates did a good job of finding me when I was open. All the guards we practice dribble pull-up jump shots all the time, so it was nothing different it was just open for me tonight.”

On playing in Cameron Indoor…

“Cameron Indoor is always amazing. It is always a great place and to be here for the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament is a blessing and we just embraced it.

Junior, F/G, Karima Christmas

On the team’s defense …

“I think we were really trying to pressure the guards. We knew that if we put a lot of pressure on the point guards and put a lot of stress on getting it to No. 23 [Allison Hightower], that they would make some mistakes and we capitalized on those.”

Junior, G, Jasmine Thomas

On what allowed the team to pull away toward the end of the game

“I just remember there was that play where we went up 46-43 and we had a stop and a rebound and we walked the ball up the floor. I think it was that moment that we really realized that it was time take control of the game and stop trading baskets. Take our time on offense, get good possessions, make second shots, and play good defense.”

Senior Forward Joy Cheek

On Duke’s toughness down the stretch:

“Physically and mentally … I think it shows because we played in a lot of close games … out of conference games early in the season and then late. And I think winning those games is a lot of credit to mental toughness because you’ve got to be able to fight through. You’re tired, we pressed the whole game, we’re a running team and I think mentally we’re able to finish those games because we’re a lot tougher mentally. And physically because we prepared in the off-season and during the season in the weight room, getting extra running, things like that. So I think when [Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie] says that we’re tough out there, she means both mentally and physically.”

On the difference that propelled Duke to victory:

“I think it’s just digging it out. You just have to fight. We didn’t want it to be our last game. People stepped up and made big plays, we played really well. Jasmine [Thomas] played well, Karima [Christmas] with her drives to the hole … We’re a veteran team also – mostly made up of juniors and seniors, so I think that also is a plus for us, that we’ve been there, done that. And we have that mental toughness to make those big plays at the end.”

On how this game compared to last year’s loss against Michigan State:

“I think those games last year helped us this year, because we knew where we fell short. Last year when we played, we got mentally beat and we got physically beat – we got knocked out at Michigan State. They were a lot tougher than we were. Mentally, coming down the stretch, they made bigger plays. That was a tight game, and it could have easily gone either way. And I think they were in the game more than we were, physically and mentally. And I think that prepared us this year because we know how that feels to be on the other side.”

Junior Forward Karima Christmas

On Duke’s physical aggressiveness throughout the game:

“I think we just all wanted to get the hustle plays, get the loose balls, come up with the ball and just give us another opportunity to score on it. So everybody was going after the ball, pursuing the ball.”

On how key rebounding was in the game:

“It was difficult because it was an even match. They box out, we box out. The height wasn’t that much of a difference. So we just kind of had to battle it out and come up with key plays and rebounds.”

On Duke’s improved offensive rebounding in the second half:

“We only had three in the first half. We knew we had to do it because that’s one of our main things. We get points off of our offensive rebounds, so we knew that was one thing we had to come out and [do].”

“Just put it in your head that you need to get the ball, pursue the ball more. Being able to get in front of them because they’re boxing us out, so being in a position to get the ball.”

On the team’s mindset heading into the next round of NCAA Tournament play:

“[We are] just taking it one game at a time. We find out who we play tomorrow, and just getting our scouting reports and doing what we have to do to get it done.”

Junior Guard Jasmine Thomas

On the team’s mindset in the final minutes of the game:

“I think that always has to be the mentality when you’re playing against a good team, is trying to be scrappy and come from behind because you can get caught up in the fast play and make mistakes like they want you to.”

On Duke’s lead in the closing minutes:

“We finally got control of the game. And it was all stops down the stretch and more rebounds … During the whole game, we couldn’t really buy a rebound put-back, but we got some down the end of the game.”

On the team’s preparation heading into the next round of play:

“You need a day to rest so you can be ready to keep going. But you definitely take tomorrow off, you take that time to … catch up on work and be ready to be back at it.”

On the team’s determination after losing in the second round of the tournament last year:

“It’s nothing that we didn’t think we could do, but I think just after what happened last year and in the past, it’s good to get back to this point so we go on to prove ourselves from here.”

Senior Guard Keturah Jackson:

On finishing her career in Cameron with a win:

“That’s the whole story right there. Not so much it being my last game in Cameron but really just wanting to extend the season as long as we can. And I just wanted to contribute any way I could, and if it’s hustle plays, then that’s what it was. I don’t think I was thinking to make the play – I was just playing in the moment.”

On her composure during the game:

“I think that’s just something that our team needs. We’ve been in this situation many times, we’ve been in close games. The ACC [Tournament] first round, we won by one point, so we’ve been in this situation many times. I think it’s just the confidence I have in my team and our coaching staff, that we’ve faced everything so we can overcome this too.”

On switching from man-to-man to zone defense and how it helped Duke stop LSU’s Allison Hightower:

“I think [LSU is] a very good penetrating team, so the zone helped us to pack down the lane. [We had] just a lot of communication in the zone and in defense. When you have a player like [Hightower], we just have to talk a lot, and that’s what got the job done for us.”

LSU Head Coach Van Chancellor

Opening Statement:

“I’m really proud of our team. This is the proudest I’ve been of our team all year, even though we lost the game. I thought we left it all on the floor today. I thought our kids came to play and we gave it everything we had. Duke’s just got a great team and they got a really good team here. Their style of play and playing here with all those fans on top of you, the way they press you, they cause a lot of problems. We hung in and played hard and played as good as we could. We gave it everything we had. When I coach, and I’ve coached a long time, I like to coach teams that give me everything they got; I thought we did that tonight. It felt like a Sweet 16 game that puts you on to the Final Four, that’s how the intensity was. We did something tonight that was uncharacteristic, we don’t ever do it. I’ve been at LSU for three years, and we’ have led the SEC in assists-to-turnovers. We just don’t turn the ball over that much. We’re not a turnover-prone basketball team. Part of that tonight was self-inflicted. And then part of it was, give it up to Duke they just have so many athletes that are about 6’1” and those arms make them play about 6’3”. Give them credit. They hung in; we fought them. They did a nice job. Joanne [McCallie] has done a nice job of kind of changing this team into a multiple defensive team and that gives them an opportunity. I do think this, we did a great job on the boards till the very end, but I thought that was because we gave out. That was one of my concerns, rebounding, but I was pleased with that. Let me just say this, I came to LSU in ’07 and if Allison Hightower had transferred, LSU’s program goes rock-bottom. Allison Hightower stayed and we built this program around her for three years.”

On Allison Hightower:

“I’d probably say she’s been the ultimate teammate. She’s a lot different than she is around me. She’s funny and she does a lot of things to make them laugh and they just love her to death. You can see how they feel. We’re going to take about three players to replace her. And they’re going to have to get a whole lot better coach.”

On trying to extend the lead:

“I never did think we had to build a cushion. We had two shots … we got two unlucky breaks. We opened up right off the bat, right at the start of the second half and Boogie [LaSondra Barrett] has the ball and we’re about to pass for Allison for a lay-up and she loses the ball and fouls and I had to take her out of the game. That was with about 12 minutes to go. We got two really good looks and missed. Then we lost one key rebound. I never did think we needed a cushion. I thought we were going to have to make shots. Maybe I was wrong there. It felt like at that time that we were matching them play-for-play. When you come down in a close basketball game, one possession right after the other, you get the ball about two feet from the basket and it goes up on the back rim and pops out and the other kinda spins around, that’s hard to overcome emotionally. Especially when they’re going down on the other end and really being tough and sticking it back in.”

On matching up against Duke’s different defensive schemes:

“They played us man and I wanted to start down there and tell Joanne [McCallie] to stay in the man. Cause when we were in man, we were running a little play we have and we were running our motion post exchange and Hightower was getting one shot after the other. When they went to that 1-2-2, zone, they’re so big in it, it makes it look like they have six players out there. That’s hard to get in the gaps of it. When we got in the gaps of it we turned the ball over. Forget everything else, you turn the ball over 22 times against a team this good on the road, it’s hard to overcome. I don’t care what else you do. We did pretty good, points in the paint, points off of turnovers wasn’t too bad. You cannot give a team 22 more possessions, of course we forced them into 19 turnovers so that’s plus-3 and that’s kinda where the game is.”

On three players playing 40 minutes:

“I thought the two little missed shots at the end of the game … we told them ahead of the game, they got to play 40 minutes and take a two-minute break. I mean they’re not but 20 years-old. You’re not working down coal mines of West Virginia. This is basketball, play. I wanted them not to think that. I told the staff I wasn’t subbing. What hurt was, my back-up point guard got a concussion and I couldn’t play her. So when I couldn’t play her, I have two freshmen on my bench. I wasn’t going to put those two freshmen in, I’m going to tell you that now. Play till you drop. We’ll carry you to the hospital after the game. We got a week to before we play again. That was a psychological ploy. I did not think that hurt us. You got a key turnover late in the game where she might’ve got nudged but she said it wasn’t too bad. Then you missed a little shot. Just the turning point of a close game. If you didn’t care who won, I bet it was a heckuva game. So happens I just care who won it.”

On what LSU needs to make a Final Four run:

“One great shooter. One person who can just out there and stick the ball in anytime from any place. I got one coming in. I need to recruit one more. Where do you think Duke is? How far are they from going to a Final Four? They’re pretty close. We’re pretty close to them. Would you think Duke’s pretty close? I can think of only one problem with Duke, I wish that dang athletic director of mine hadn’t hired Joanne [McCallie]. I wish he hired a mad coach. You want to know the truth. I’m kidding. I wish Al Brown had gotten the job at Michigan State and he wasn’t here with her too. We’re just wishing, let’s wish for everything.”

On the defensive scheme for Jasmine Thomas:

“Jasmine Thomas is the best point guard we’ve seen all year. But I thought the difference maker for Duke tonight was (Bridgette) Mitchell. Jasmine Thomas did about what I thought she’d done. I’m not taking anything away from her. She did about what I thought she’d do. She hurt us, but I thought we did a good job on her. Mitchell was the one that hurt us. She made some dagger shots. I was surprised. Duke’s going to go to Memphis and play better. Sometimes when you play at home you want to win at home in front to your fans and it puts a lot of pressure on you. But if you haven’t seen Tennessee play, ohhhh. Lord they’re big. They’re built like a men’s basketball team in height. I wanted to make sure you understood that.”

Senior Guard Allison Hightower

On hitting shots early in the game:

“I felt good about it. My teammates were screening for me and getting me the ball. I was really fortunate to knock them down early. Once I started getting the ball, they started biting on it and paying me a lot more attention and it opened up for everybody then.”

On Duke’s defensive pressure:

“Duke’s defense is really tough. They’re aggressive, they’re very long, very quick. I give credit to their defense. They’re very tough. You get tired if you go hard the entire game, but I give credit to their defense.”

On playing her final game:

“I wasn’t thinking about it on the court. I just wanted to continue to play. You can’t really think about it. Just playing till the clock hits zero, so I just wanted to continue to play. It has set in; my college career is over. I hope that I can set an example for my teammates to continue to work hard, continue to do good on and off the court … just continue to be great people.”

Sophomore Forward LaSondra Barrett

On the environment in Cameron:

“I think it’s a lot. As you see, their fans motivate them. For much of the game, we had them pretty quiet, but every steal or and-one that they get, it really excites their fans. It’s like a motivation for them. I guess we just have to keep fighting. We should have just kept fighting through that. It’s a tough environment.”

—-

Official Basketball Box Score — Game Totals — Final Statistics

#21/– LSU vs #6/6 Duke

3-22-10 7:11 PM at Durham, N.C. (Cameron Indoor Stadium)

——————————————————————————–

VISITORS: #21/– LSU 21-10

TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS

## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN

22 Courtney Jones…… f  5-8    1-2    0-0    1  8  9   3  11  1  2  1  2  31

55 Lasondra Barrett…. f  5-12   0-1    2-2    1  2  3   3  12  3  4  0  0  31

01 Katherine Graham…. g  2-6    0-0    2-2    1  3  4   2   6  1  5  1  4  40

20 Destini Hughes…… g  2-5    0-2    0-0    0  2  2   1   4  6  6  0  2  40

23 Allison Hightower… g  6-16   1-2    6-6    1  2  3   4  19  2  4  0  0  40

02 Jasmine Nelson……    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  1  0   2

35 Taylor Turnbow……    0-1    0-0    0-0    1  2  3   2   0  0  1  1  1  16

TEAM…………….                         2  1  3

Totals…………..   20-48   2-7   10-10   7 20 27  15  52 13 22  4  9 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-21 52.4%   2nd Half:  9-27 33.3%   Game: 41.7%  DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  1-3  33.3%   2nd Half:  1-4  25.0%   Game: 28.6%   REBS

F Throw % 1st Half:  2-2  100 %   2nd Half:  8-8  100 %   Game: 100 %    0

——————————————————————————–

HOME TEAM: #6/6 Duke 29-5

TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS

## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN

13 Karima Christmas…. f  2-6    0-1    5-5    2  4  6   3   9  1  2  0  1  31

21 Joy Cheek……….. f  3-7    0-2    2-2    2  3  5   4   8  1  5  1  1  32

34 Krystal Thomas…… c  2-3    0-0    2-3    2  1  3   2   6  1  4  2  1  22

05 Jasmine Thomas…… g  5-16   1-4    4-4    0  5  5   2  15  1  4  0  3  36

31 Keturah Jackson….. g  4-5    0-0    0-0    2  0  2   3   8  1  0  0  3  31

03 Shay Selby……….    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  1  0  1   6

15 Bridgette Mitchell..    6-11   0-3    0-0    2  4  6   1  12  0  3  0  3  27

43 Allison Vernerey….    1-4    0-0    0-2    0  2  2   1   2  0  0  0  0  15

TEAM…………….                         1  1  2

Totals…………..   23-52   1-10  13-16  11 21 32  16  60  5 19  3 13 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-26 42.3%   2nd Half: 12-26 46.2%   Game: 44.2%  DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  1-6  16.7%   2nd Half:  0-4   0.0%   Game: 10.0%   REBS

F Throw % 1st Half:  2-4  50.0%   2nd Half: 11-12 91.7%   Game: 81.3%    1

——————————————————————————-

Officials: Beverly Roberts, Joe Cunningham, Angelica Suffren

Technical fouls: #21/– LSU-None. #6/6 Duke-None.

Attendance: 4044

Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total

#21/– LSU………………..   25   27  –   52

#6/6 Duke…………………   25   35  –   60

Points in the paint-LSU 24,DUKE 26. Points off turnovers-LSU 18,DUKE 14.

2nd chance points-LSU 8,DUKE 12. Fast break points-LSU 3,DUKE 6.

Bench points-LSU 0,DUKE 14. Score tied-15 times. Lead changed-7 times.

Last FG-LSU 2nd-00:16, DUKE 2nd-01:24.

Largest lead-LSU by 7 1st-12:18, DUKE by 8 2nd-00:01.

Duke women whip Hampton 72-37 in NCAA play

Jasmine Thomas went behind her back during a steal and layup, then lofted a perfect alley-oop pass to a teammate. Everything was coming easy for her and for Duke – just as it seemingly always does during NCAA tournament games at home.

Thomas scored 11 of her 13 points during the decisive first half of the Blue Devils’ 72-37 rout of Hampton on Saturday in the first round of the Memphis Regional.

Keturah Jackson‘s 13 points were a career high and Karima Christmas also scored 13 for No. 2 seed Duke (28-5), which dominated nearly every stat category, outscored Hampton 35-6 during the final 15:45 of the first half and cruised into a second-round matchup with No. 7 seed LSU on Monday night.

“Everyone was engaged,” Jackson said. “Everyone contributed. And we were all in tune.”

Choicetta McMillian had nine points to lead the 15th-seeded Pirates (20-12). The outmanned Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions had a season-low point total, were held to fewer than 40 points for the first time since November 2005 and had their six-game winning streak snapped with their most lopsided loss of the year.

The Blue Devils led 40-14 at halftime and were never threatened after that in extending their dominance at Cameron Indoor Stadium, where their only loss since 2008 came earlier this season to top-ranked Connecticut. They’ve won 13 straight NCAA tournament games here, and the average margin of victory in the first 12 was 27.

Duke shot nearly 46 percent, held a 47-31 rebounding advantage and forced 16 turnovers in winning its fourth straight and 10th in 11 games.

“They were very aggressive. I thought they were going to be aggressive, but they were, like, really aggressive,” Hampton forward Quanneisha Perry said. “Once we broke it, I guess we tried to relax. But with their press, you can’t really relax. You have to be strong with the ball, take care of the ball and look for the right passes, and we didn’t do that at all.”

It took the Blue Devils a few minutes to get rolling, but not because they were rusty after being off for two weeks following their first Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title since 2004.

“I think we started out going too fast and rushing some things on offense,” Thomas said. “We just settled down and got into the flow of the game.”

Once that happened, they started playing like a No. 2 seed – and this one was no contest.

Duke took the lead for good on Allison Vernerey‘s layup 5 minutes in, Christmas pushed it into double figures to stay with roughly 9½ minutes left and Thomas stretched it into the 20s for good with her highlight-reel steal and layup just inside the 4-minute mark.

That had them well on their way into the second round yet again; the Blue Devils have won at least one game in each of their 16 appearances in the NCAAs.

The undersized Pirates gave themselves a few snapshot moments at one of college basketball’s most famous arenas, spending roughly 3 early minutes in the lead. But after Laura Lewis’ runner off the glass put them up 8-5 with 16 minutes left, they missed 18 of the 20 shots that followed while turning it over 10 times during the rest of the half.

“You have to take baby steps, and I think this is one of them,” coach David Six said. “I think now we know what it’s like. I think there were times during the game that we belonged on the floor. I don’t think for one second that we were intimidated. We didn’t execute well, but we weren’t intimidated.”