Tag Archives: Jasmine Thomas

Duke women roll past UNC for ACC Title

2011 ACC Champions - Duke Blue Devils, photo Lance King for BDNGREENSBORO – The Duke Blue Devils rolled past North Carolina to win their second consecutive ACC Tournament Championship by a score of 81-66 on Sunday afternoon in Greensboro.  Duke was led by tournament MVP Jasmine Thomas who scored 21 points and she was helped by fellow senior Karima Christmas who had 13 points and 9 boards.

But it was the second half play of true freshman Haley Peters that added a huge sprak to the Blue Devils efforts.  Peters knocked down 5 of 6 free throws and scored 14 points, second most on the team to go with 4 rebounds.

“I thought that was the greatest screen  on that play along the baseline where Jazz hit a three and she got the call,” said McCallie on a play which Thomas nailed the three and Haley was fouled, went to the line, knocked down two free throws for a 5 point play which in hindsight was a dagger.

“When you sit on the bench, sometimes it’s helpful because you can see whats going on out there and see your teams attitude.  When I came in I tried to be an energy player,” stated Peters.

Duke had their hands full with Jessica Breland who scored a game high 27 points to go with her 7 rebounds. “I thought we had done a good job on Breland  until I saw here stat line,” said McCallie in praise of her play.

Duke had a big lift from the players off their bench, mainly due to the aformentioned Peters where they outscored the Tar Heels 28-12.  The Blue Devils also won the battle of the boards holding a 38-27 edge.

Once again, McCallie utilized here deep bench where 11 Blue Devils got minutes.  This seemed to be a strategic move for the Tar Heels wore down a bit during the stretch run.

“I;m very, very proud of our team, our seniors and the leadership exhibited out there throughout this tournament, said McCallie.  She continued, “We’re very excited  to represent Duke and be able to be together and have so much fun.”

Karima Christmas joined Jasmine Thomas on the first team all tournament team while Chelsea Gray was named to the second team.  Had the votes not been taken early, you would have likely seen Haley Peters name as well.

Duke won their seventh tournament title, all since the year 2000.  Duke now holds a 5-3 advantage when playing North Carolina for the title.  The Blue Devils have also played in 10 of the last 12 finals, a testament to the programs strength.

The win pushed the Blue Devils record to 29-3 on the season and they were rated as the second best team in the RPI rating before the game. Duke must now wait two weeks for the NCAA selection show to learn of their next opponent and that game will be played in Cameron Indoor Stadium where Duke hosts a first round regional.

Official Box Score    Quotes from Coach P and Players

Christmas helps Duke advance to ACC title game

GREENSBORO – The Duke Blue Devils are headed to the ACC Tournament Championship game with74-66  a victory over a pesky Georgia Tech team.  The Blue Devils dominated the paint area outscoring the Yellow Jackets by a 28-16 margin in the paint.

The Yellow Jackets cut a large Duke lead down to 2 with 7:10 left, but Duke bounced back on back to back baseline buckets from Karima Christmas and Haley Peters  and then another Christmas lay in and then one from Thomas which sparked an 8-2 run and that edge carried the Blue Devils through to victory.

Karima Christmas had a monster game for the winners throwing in a team high 20 points to go with 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists.  When Duke needed a bucket or a play she seemed will to take on that role.

The Blue Devils came out red hot in the first half shooting an impressive 68,2% from the field and that effort ranks 7th in the schools history.  Duke enjoyed a 13-5 edge off turnovers as well despite the Yellow Jackets vaunted press.

Jasmine Thomas added 12 points, while Chelsea Gray tossed in 10 as the only double figure scorers save the aforementioned Christmas.  Once again, Coach P played 10 players but her bench got a bit shorter via minutes played for some players which is a combination a shortened bench and match ups.

With the win Duke goes to 28-3 on the season and they play the winner of the North Carolina-Miami game at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.  That said, let’s have a nice turnout to support the Blue Devils in Greensboro tomorrow.

Check back for videos.  We had a hard time downloading them in Greensboro but will try when we get to Chapel Hill for tonight’s men’s game.

Duke women earn top seed with 66-58 win over North Carolina [Videos]

Jasmine Thomas, photo Rick Crank for BDN

The Duke Women earned a share of the ACC Regular Season Championship with a 66-58 victory over arch rival North Carolina before a sold out crowd in Cameron Indoor Stadium.  The win pushed the Blue Devils overall record to 26-3 going into this weeks Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in Greensboro, N.C.

While this would not be Karima Christmas, Jasmine Thomas and Krystal Thomas’s last game in Cameron due to hosting the first round in the NCAA Tournament, it was their last regular season game.  That meant senior day speeches and as always they were heart felt and emotional. 

The Blue Devils also took turns cutting down the net as they celebrated the victory but you could tell this wasn’t the net they coveted and Coach McCallie otherwise known as Coach P, alluded to that on the post game press conference.

As for the game itself, the Blue Devils found themselves trailing at the half to the pesky Tar Heels who rolled out to an early 15-8 lead.  Duke settled down after the half and their defense allowed them to take a 38-37 lead on a Karima Christmas three pointer and the Blue Devils never trailed again.

Jasmine Thomas gave Duke a commanding 56-42 lead on a three pointer of her own at the 9:42 mark and that allowed them to cruise to a 66-58 win.  Thomas led Duke with 17 points and 5 assists to go with 2 steals.

But it was Karima Christmas who posted a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds and 6 assists of her own.  Fellow senior Krystal pulled down a game high 13 rebounds and you’ll see her in the videos below.

Duke got a spark from Allison Vernerey too, where she tossed in 11 points making and grabbed 6 rebounds and swatted back 2 shots on her birthday.  Shay Selby played with an edge adding 7 points as did freshman Tricia Liston.

Chelsea Gray who is healing an ankle sprian tried to make a go of it but wasn’t successful.  She is now day to day but expected to play in the tournament.

Duke outscored North Carolina 26-16 in the paint and outrebounded their rival 52-46.  The win was the 23rd in a row in Cameron Indoor Stadium where Duke went undefeated this season.  Duke will now take on the winner of the Virginia-Wake Forest winner  having won the tie breaker and earning the number one seed.

Check out the raw but emotional videos below –

Blue Devil Women down Kentucky 54-48

Thomas kniocks down a season high 24 points to lead Duke past Kentucky. Rick Crank Photo/BDN

DURHAM – Make no mistake about it, the third ranked Blue Devils win over tenth rated Kentucky wasn’t pretty to watch but the result was all roses for Coach McCallie’s troops.  Much like the Xavier game, Duke fought hard on defense and hung on to defeat another top ten club while playing one the the nations toughest early season schedules.

An early 8-0 first half run put the Blue Devils up 16-10 but the Wildcats put it back together and went on a run of their own to tie the game up but Duke pulled ahead again with a late first half run giving them a 31-22 lead.  That momentum was lost when Kentucky came out and outscore the home team 8-2, putting them back in the game.

Kentucky tied the game at 44 apiece on a Maegan Conwright free throw with 3:51 to go, but Jasmine Thomas, who led Duke with 24, knocked down a jumper.  But Kentucky’s star Victoria Dunlap answered with two free throws on here own at the 3:13 mark.

Kentucky then took a late lead on a A’Dai Mathies lay in and the Cats were up 48-46 with under two minutes in the contest.    That’s when Duke reached deep and Jasmine Thomas hit  nothing but net from around the free throw stripe tying the game up with 1:33 left.

The Blue Devils defense then forced a turnover and found Chelsea Gray for a runner on the baseline which put the Blue Devils up for good at 50-48.  Kentucky had a chance to tie the game after Thomas hit one of two free throws, but the senior guard recovered and made a key block on Mathies who then gave her a bit of a shove in frustration.

After that play the Kentucky Coach Mathew Mitchell was hit with a technical foul and Duke held on for a 54-48 win and in the process go to 14-0 on the season while Kentucky falls to 11-2.

Duke was as always led by their senior All American Jasmine Thomas whose season high 24 points were also a  game high.  Thomas has a way of rising to the occasion in close ball games of late and here block may well have been the play of the game.  Thomas had three blocks over the last six minutes of the game.

Chelsea Gray added 11 points for the Blue Devils as their only other double digit scorer.  Gray had a team high 5 steals.

Kentucky was led by Keyla Snowden with 15 and Victoria Dunlap with 10.  Dunlap is Kentucky’s leading scorer and the Duke defense held here to her second lowest point total of the season, but the previous low of 7 points came when she went out with an injury.

In fact, as sluggish as the offenses were for both schools, the defense was stellar.  Especially for the Blue Devils who held Kentucky to their lowest scoring output of the season, a team that averaged 80.6 ppg coming into the contest and was held 32 points shy of that average.

The Blue Devils were originally supposed to play this game on Monday night but ESPNU required them to shift the game to Tuesday.  That means Duke has less than two days to prepare for rival Maryland and ACC play which begins Thursday evening.  Tickets are still available for the game by visiting GoDuke or picking them up at the door on game night.

Sidebar – Duke held a 13-5 edge on 2nd chance points and a 22-2 edge off the bench.  Kentucky outscored Duke in the paint 14-13 and 11-6 on fastbreak points.  The 14-0 start is the best start for Coach P in her 19 years of coaching and she is now 48-4 in Cameron. Allison Vernerey had a season high ten rebounds but went just 1 of 10 from the field.

Late Jasmine Thomas block helps #3 Duke secure a thrilling win over #4 Xavier

Jasmine Thomas helped Duke slip past Xavier - Rick Crank Photo for BDN

DURHAM – A marquee match up between third ranked Duke Blue Devils and the fourth ranked Xavier Musketeers took place in Cameron Indoor Stadium in a game which oddly had  no television coverage.  With a partial band and lack of cheerleaders due to the Christmas break, the team had to at times reach for emotion and that made the Blue Devils homecourt edge less intimidating.

But in the end, there was plenty of emotion as Duke made a fuirous late 6-0 comeback run down the stretch to defeat their game opponent 46-45.  Duke is now 12-o on the season while Xavier falls to 10-1.

Duke senior Jasmine Thomas blocked  a shot at the buzzer to secure the win and Cameron which went nuts as did Xavier Coach Kevin McGuff who had to be restrained by another coach as security moved in.  The refs then went to the scorers table to check the monitor and afterwards they called it a game and Duke escaped with an exciting win.

“That is truly one of the best plays I have ever seen in 19 years of coaching. As we got back and we all went, apparently for the ball – I’ll have to look at it on film to really know – it’s a good lesson to staying matched up in transition. Of course, they got it deflected out, which of course was a tremendous benefit to them, and all of a sudden you see this lightning bolt out of nowhere block a great shot,” said Duke Coach Joanne McCallie

The Blue Devils had no answer for Amber Harris who ended the game with 22 points, 15 rebounds and 6 blocked shots but they made up for it with 21 steals filling the passing lanes all night.

During the post game press conference, Coach McCallie admitted it was an ugly game and that her team which went for almost 7 minutes in the second half without a point struggled to find good shots.  But she then made this statement, “If you find a way to win ugly, you can win them all.”

After a back and forth first half where there were five lead changes, the Musketeers defense kicked in and Duke which started hot went cold from the field.  As the second half started Duke scored just two points in the first five minutes before they fought their way back into the game after going down by eight points.

Duke tied the game back up on a Krystal Thomas lay in at 40 apiece with 9:00 to go, but Xavier star Amber Harris answered putting the Musketeers back up and the two teams then grinded it out defensively where neither team could find the basket.  But then Harris scored inside and was fouled and Xavier clinged to a 43-40 lead.  Another Harris jumper made it 45-40 with just 2:42 to go but that’s when the Blue Devils woke up and found their groove just in the nick of time.

Jasmine Thomas cut the lead to three after a lay in and Duke then forced a turnover where Allison Vernerey made a key steal and then Duke found Krystal Thomas  under the basket and she was fouled, making one of two and tying the game at 45 all with 31 seconds left on the clock.    Karima Christmas then tipped the ball out and Jasmine Thomas came up the ball on the baseline and was fouled with 2 seconds left and hit 1 of 2 free throws giving Duke a single digit lead.

That’s when an amazing sequence took place.  Xavier set up a great play and the ball went to a wide open Special Jennings and Jasmine ran full speed from about the scorers tabel recovering to block the shot which set off an emotional outburst from the Xavier as we mentioned.  After the dust cleared, Duke walked away with an ugly but substantial victory.

Coach P, Jasmine Thomas audio below – Just press play.

Sidebar - The point total was the lowest for Duke since they lost to Purdue 62-45 in 1999 yet they still won.  Duke outscored Xavier 22-9 off turnovers and the lead changed 6 times although it seemed like more.  Duke shot just 26.8% from the field a season low and held Xavier to 1 for 12 from the three point stripe.  Duke won it’s 14th straight game in Cameron and 14th straight over Atlantic 10 teams.  Jasmine Thomas 2 steals moved her to 6th place on the all time list.  Coach P is now 46-4 in Cameron since she arrived.    Duke will next play Temple at home on December 30th.

Duke Women Defeat BYU 69-54 in Season Opener

The Duke defense held BYU to 27.9% from the field and won their opener 69-54

DURHAM – The fifth ranked Duke Women’s team settled in after a slow start to defeat a pesky Brigham Young team 69-54 in the season opener for both teams.  Karima Christmas led the way offensively for the Blue Devils tallying 20 points to go with 7 rebounds.

Jasmine Thomas started the game 0-7 from the field but hit the first two buckets of the second half and the rest of the Blue Devils played off her spirited play. Thomas finished the game with 14 points and scurried her way to a team high 11 rebounds.

Duke opened up a double digit lead early in the half, but BYU refused to fold cutting the lead to 6 with just over 12 minutes to go. But Chloe Wells and Jasmine Thomas sparked a run and suddenly Duke was up 60-43 with 4:04 to go.  That sealed the deal for Duke who coasted to a win after wearing down the visitor.

The Blue Devils dominated the paint where they out-rebounded the Cougars by a 52-37 margin and 28-2 scoring edge.  Duke also got help from Kathleen Scheer who scored 13 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.  She switched positions in the off season and looks at home in the power forward slot for Coach P’s team.

Sidebar -The Blue Devils are nursing several injuries and Shay Selby sat out the contest.  Coach P was pleased with her teams defensive effort during the post game press conference and the play of true freshman Chloe Wells.  Duke next takes on Southern Cal this coming Monday in Cameron Indoor Stadium with seat available.  Coach P said that aggressive play and making things happen would earn players time on a deep team.  Coach also said that Duke will be better against the press as the season progresses and that she was excited about this teams potential.

Game Notes – Duke won it’s 19th straight season opener and improved to 2-0 all time against BYU.  Jasmine Thomas posted her third career double-double.  Kathleen Scheer got her first collegiate start and had a career high 8 boards.  Chloe Wells and was the first Duke freshman since Abby Waner to start as a true freshman.  Karima Christmas scored 20 or more points for the 4th time in her career.  All five members of the #1 rated recruiting class played in the game for the Blue Devils.