It's hard to find a starting point in talking about how dominant the Blue Devils 85-44 win over Maryland was today. I mean the Devils defense held Maryland to four points over the last ten
minutes of the first half and limited the visitor to 27% shooting on the day and their lowest point total in forty years. Here are some random thoughts -
Duke hit their three point shots- The Blue Devils shot better from the three point stripe than they did the field where they finished 12 of 25. If Duke can continue this kind of production, they'll be tough to beat come March. An interesting side not is that all of Scheyer's (4 of 13) made field goals were three pointers.
Gerald Henderson - "G" is starting to dominate the game as he finds his comfort level. I mean 17 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals in 23 minutes of play is ridiculous!
The Duke defense- I don't want to jinx these Blue Devils, but could this be the best defensive team Krzyzewski has ever had? While Maryland was ice cold, Duke still created 17 turnovers, held them to 28.2% from the field and a high school
point total of 44. A 12-2 advantage on points off turnovers help too. We may get a more definitive answer after this coming Wednesday's road game at Wake Forest.
Good Match up- This year's Maryland team doesn't have the intimidating front court players as they have in years past. Duke matches up very well with the Terps, as witnessed by their 56-38 rebound advantage.
Chemistry coming around- If you have read my recent game stories, you'll see where I pointed out how few assists Duke was getting from the point guard spot. Well, they woke up today for 85 points on 23 assists is pretty darn good. Duke got 8 assists from their two quarterbacks, Paulus and Smith.
Fun atmosphere in Cameron - It's been a while since the Cameron Crazies, fans and team had as much fan as they did on Saturday. Everything went right and walloping a team that has been a thorn over the years was sweet. The cheers were great and well, it was a lot of fun for Duke fans.
Freshman get minutes- Is anybody tired of the message board talk on Elliot Williams or is it just me? Okay, there will always be some, but Williams showed flashes of coming along. He tossed in 9
points, many on dunks today and played good defense. He is gradually getting accustomed to the speed and physical nature of the ACC. Mile Plumlee had a time getting a shot to drop, in fact he was 0-5, but he did grab 5 rebounds and swatted 3 shots away. Olek Czyz got some burn as well, playing nine minutes.
Is Duke #1?- While UConn may get some votes, Duke should be tops in the land in both polls come Monday afternoon. This week will mark the 60th time Duke has been at the top pf the heap in the ESPN/Coaches poll since it's inauguration. UNC is a distant second.
5-0, 18-1 -The fast start in the ACC is a blessing in that Duke has Wake and UNC coming up twice each and a road trip to Clemson. Trust me in that at Virginia Tech, Boston College and Maryland are no walks in the park. The neighboring team has a much more conducive schedule.
Senior leadership - So, have you noticed the selflessness of Duke seniors David McClure and Greg
Paulus? Well take notice for they have five more games to play in Cameron for their career.
As you probably know by now, Duke walloped Maryland and is poised to go to number one for the 60th time since the ESPN/Coaches Poll has existed. Oh, and nobody is a close second;) We'll get to the game shortly, but until then, here is a look at the freshman who got some good minutes -
• Game 19 •
[2 AP/2 Coaches] Duke (17-1, 4-0 ACC) vs. Maryland (13-5, 2-2 ACC)
Saturday, January 24, 2009 • 12:02 PM ET • ESPN
Cameron Indoor Stadium (9,314) • Durham, N.C.
Blue Devil Bits
l Duke is 17-1 on the year, including a 4-0 mark in Atlantic Coast Conference play. The Blue Devils
have now started the season with a 17-1 record 10 times, including nine times under Mike Krzyzewski.
l The Blue Devils are ranked second in the AP poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. Duke is 109-16 all-time when ranked second in the AP poll.
l Duke is first in the latest RPI according to CollegeRPI.com. The site also ranks Duke’s strength of schedule third in the NCAA.
l The Blue Devils moved to 4-0 in league play with a 73-56 win over N.C. State on Tuesday. Duke shot 76.9 percent (20-of-26) and outscored the Wolfpack 51-30 in the second half of the game.
l Junior Gerald Henderson scored 17 of his game-high 21 points after halftime. He also led Duke in rebounds (7), assists (4), blocks (1) and steals (5) for the game.
l Kyle Singler scored in double figures for the 17th time in 18 games with 17 points against N.C. State. He was 6-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-4 from three-point range, in the win.
l Gerald Henderson and Kyle Singler combined to outscore N.C. State, 31-30, in the second half. The duo shot 13-of-18 (.722) from the field in the final 20 minutes of play.
l Sophomore Nolan Smith added 13 points, including a pair of three-pointers to spark a 27-7 second half run, against N.C. State.
l Duke has won 19 straight games in the month of January dating back to a 74-63 loss at Georgia Tech on Jan. 10, 2007.
l The Blue Devils are 198-54 under Coach K in the month of January, including a 92-7 mark since 1998.
l Since losing to Michigan, 81-73, on Dec. 6, the Blue Devils have not allowed more than 70 points in a game. Duke’s opponents are averaging just 57.7 points per game over the last nine contests. Six of Duke’s last nine opponents have scored fewer than 60 points.
l Sophomore Kyle Singler leads Duke in points, rebounds, assists and steals. Christian Laettner is the only Blue Devil to lead the team in four major statistical categories in a season. Laettner led the team in points, rebounds, steals and blocked shots during the 1990-91 season.
l Junior Gerald Henderson has reached double figures in scoring in each of the last 10 games, averaging 17.7 points per game in those outings. He is shooting .556 (68-of-128) from the field, including .536 (15-of-28) from three-point range during that span Henderson has scored at least 15 points in seven of his last eight games.
l Gerald Henderson is shooting .797 (47-of-59) from the free throw line this season. Entering the year, he was a career .657 (138-of-210) shooter from the charity stripe. Henderson is also shooting a team-high .449 (22-of-49) from three-point range this season after shooting .318 (28-of-88) from three-point distance in his first two seasons.
l The Blue Devils have the top scoring defense in the ACC, allowing only 60.3 points per game. Duke has held 12 of its 18 opponents to 60 points or less on the season.
l Duke is allowing just 53.5 points per game in league play, 15.7 points per game better than
Maryland (second in the ACC at 69.2 ppg.). The Blue Devils are also first in the ACC in field goal defense (.378) and three-point field goal defense (.269) in league play.
Duke is 15-0 when leading at the half. The Blue Devils have faced a second-half deficit just three times (Rhode Island, Michigan, N.C. State) this season.
l Junior Jon Scheyer has led the team in assists in each of the last five games and eight games overall this season. He currently has 197 career assists and needs three more to become the 36th player in school history with 200 career assists.
l The Blue Devils have won 14 games by double digits this season. Duke ranks second in the ACC in scoring margin (+19.7 ppg.). The Blue Devils lead the ACC with a +16.0 scoring margin in conference-only games.
l Sophomore Kyle Singler is averaging a team-high 17.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in Cameron Indoor Stadium this season. He is shooting .515 (69-of-134) from the field at home with a team-high 18 three-point field goals.
l Greg Paulus has only committed one turnover in 56 minutes of action in Duke’s four ACC games. For his career, Paulus has a 1.6:1 assist-to-turnover ratio in league play.
Duke defeated a pesky Maryland team 68-65 in a a game that was televised nationally by ESPN. The network came in for "Big Monday" and the Blue Devils came out with a big win to go to 2-0 in the
ACC and 14-1 overall.
The teams opened the game trading blows which is to be expected in this rivalry. There were 17 lead changes in the game and 15 of them were in the first twenty minutes of play. Once Duke took the lead 21-20 on a Joy Cheek lay up, they took control to take a 40-29 lead into half time.
There were two key factors in their first half success. One was Joy Cheek who had 11 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. In fact, Cheek had 9 of Dukes first twelve points and ended the game with14 points and 11 rebounds after returning to the starting lineup.
The other factor was Waner and Thomas defensive effort on Kristi Tolliver who was held scoreless.
But Toliver and the Terps warmed up in the second half and at the 8:38 mark, took the lead 55-54 on a Wiley-Gatewood three point shot.
Just after that play Abby Waner came back with an assist to Chante Black to take the lead back. Waner later hit a layup which stretched the lead to 64-60, but Marisa Coleman cut it to two with a lay up of her own at the other end at the 1:00 mark.
The Duke defense played tough and Maryland couldn't find the mark as Toliver missed a long three in front of the Maryland bench with 13 ticks on the clock. The Terps then fouled Jasmine Thomas who went to the line and calmly dropped two in to give the Devils a 66-62 advantage.
One might have thought the game was sealed, but Tolliver drained a quick three to make it a 66-65
Duke lead. Tolliver immediately committed a hard foul on Thomas with two second left, but the sophomore stepped to the line and knocked down both helping the Devils to a 68-65 win.
“That was just great man-to-man defense by our team. We wanted to make sure she was contested in a multiple fashion, if possible, because you can’t get the ball out of her hands, so you have to do something to direct the shot as much as possible,” said McCallie on the play of her defense in the final seconds.
Waner added, "I pulled Jas [Jasmine Thomas] aside and told her ‘Make this free throw because trust me it matters’. There are certain things that you learn from losses and I will never take a three-point lead with a few seconds to go for granted."
Thomas had one of her better games of the season scoring 15 points and despite being one of the
teams worst free throw shooters she went 6 of 7 from the charity stripe.
Chante Black was strong in the second half and ended the game with 13 points and a career high 14 rebounds.
Abby Waner grabbed 8 rebounds, 7 on the defensive end scored 13 points and dished out 4 assists and 3 steals, both team highs. Waner has now had a phenomenal 20 steals in her last four contests.
"The plays Abby made down the stretch were huge, fun to watch really, plus her eight rebounds were absolutely important to us," Said Coach McCallie during the post game press conference.
Duke got a lot of energy from Bridgette Mitchell off the bench. Mitchell had 6 points and 6 rebounds. Another key contributor was Krsytal Thomas who tallied 4 points and 4 rebounds in just seven minutes of play.
The Terps were led by Marrissa Coleman with 14 points, Lynetta Kizer who suffered with cramps 12
points, Toliver 12 points and Anjale Barrett with 10 points.
Duke handily out rebounded the Terps 56-39 and overcame 25.6% shooting from the field in the final half to win. Another huge plus in the win was the Devils going 12 of 14 from the free throw stripe.
Sidebar Comments -
How big is this win for Duke?
It's plenty big. Big win on a big Monday. This is the best start of McCallies career and she has her most talented team ever. Duke has adjusted to her coaching style which is aggressive physical play and good defense. Duke proved before a
national audience that they definitely deserve their #4 ranking.
Jasmine Thomas -
This game should go a long way with concerns to her confidence. The second year guard is becoming more consistent, but Coach P made a telling comment when she said, Jasmine played well in spots.
Senior leadership -
Chante Black showed up big when it counted and Abby was a true leader on both ends of the floor tonight.
Duke depth -
Coach P has done a good job at build her depth and there seems to be a lot of players able to step
up on a given night. This will be especially critical come tournament time.
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-37 43.2% 2nd Half: 10-39 25.6% Game: 34.2% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-9 33.3% 2nd Half: 1-4 25.0% Game: 30.8% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 5-5 100 % 2nd Half: 7-9 77.8% Game: 85.7% 3
Officials: Eric Brewton, Dee Kantner, Edward Sidlasky
Technical fouls: #12/15 Maryland-None. #5/10 Duke-None.
Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total
#12/15 Maryland............... 29 36 - 65
#5/10 Duke.................... 40 28 - 68
Points in the paint-MARYL 28,DUKE 36. Points off turnovers-MARYL 7,DUKE 11.
2nd chance points-MARYL 11,DUKE 15. Fast break points-MARYL 6,DUKE 4.
Bench points-MARYL 12,DUKE 16. Score tied-1 time. Lead changed-17 times.
Last FG-MARYL 2nd-00:04, DUKE 2nd-01:27.
Largest lead-MARYL by 3 1st-14:08, DUKE by 13 1st-00:44.