The fourth-ranked Duke Blue Devils extended their win streak to 16 games with a 58-26 win over the Virginia Tech Hokies at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C. on Wednesday.
Center Elizabeth Williams led all scorers with 20 points and 8 rebounds while guard Chelsea Gray contributed 12 points in the winning effort that kept Duke as the only undefeated team in NCAA Division I.
“Yea, I am feeling really good,” Williams said afterwards.
“Being able to finish with contact is a big thing for me right now. Getting to the line and being able to (finish), that was nice.”
Season lows lead to win
While keeping Virginia Tech to a 27 percent shooting average, the Blue Devils recorded season lows in points scored (58), points allowed (26), and shooting average (35.4 percent).
“Really a great defensive game to hold them to a low of 26 and force 27 turnovers, 19 steals - that was good,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said.
“We saw some really good shooting by Elizabeth and Chelsea, and from there, there was a lack of concentration (offensively) across the board.”
Duke’s press presented problems for the Hokies throughout the game and impacted their ability to set up any type of offense.
In particular, both Gray and Jones had career-high games on defense as Gray tied her personal mark, finishing with 7 steals, while rookie guard Alexis Jones set her own benchmark with six steals.
At one point, it took Virginia Tech over 12 minutes before scoring a point – beginning at the 10:02 mark in the first half and extending through 17:18 in the second half.
“They’re big and they’re quick,” Virginia Tech coach Dennis Wolff said.
“The problem for a team like us, is that if it takes us forever to get the ball over, then when we get it over, we really don’t have a lot of time to do anything against their zone.”
McCallie was happy with her team’s execution on defense.
“We really want to disrupt an attack with all of our presses and really go after it, so that’s kind of what you are trying to do. You can press and force quick shots which we have in the past, but in their case, you had to press and play through the possession, so that was a good workout for us in terms of doing all that.”
Preparing for physical play
As the Blue Devils prepare for their next game against the third-ranked Connecticut Huskies in Storrs, Conn., McCallie will use the physical test her team encountered against the Hokies to prepare accordingly.
“This was a really a great game for us that way because of the physical play.” she said.
“You know it is (going to be) really physical playing really good teams for us - this was a good game - as opposed to one that just goes up and down and there really is no bumping. This was one where there were a lot of hits.”
No doubt, there will be a fair share of hits at both ends of the floor when two of the top-five teams in the country battle one another on Monday.