by Mike Potter
CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM With apologies to Warren Harding, Duke faces a return to normalcy tonight in women’s basketball with a home game against Wake Forest.
Duke has won 26 straight conference games at Cameron and 36 against the Deacons, who have long been in the conference’s middle class under Mike Petersen. The last time the Deacons were really close at the end of a Duke game was a five-point loss in the 2003 ACC Tournament, and Duke won 76-58 on Jan. 6 in Winston-Salem.
This time the Blue Devils dominate more, rolling to a 75-43 rout.
The Deacons keep it close early, tying it 5-5 on Brooke Thomas’ 3-point play with 18:07 left in the first half. But Duke goes on a 10-2 run — with seven of the points coming from Haley Peters — and rolls to a 36-19 halftime advantage.
The Blue Devils’ largest lead is 73-38 on a Richa Jackson layup with 2:41 to go.
Peters leads the Blue Devils with 18 points and 11 rebounds for her first career double-double, while Elizabeth Williams adds 16 points. Chelsea Gray adds 12 points while Jackson chips in 11 with 11 rebounds for her first career double-double. It’s the first time Duke has two players with double-doubles this season.
Chelsea Douglas leads the Deacons with 11 points while Southeast Raleigh alumna Lakevia Boykin chips in 10. Secily Ray adds 12 rebounds to go with her six points.
Duke shoots 43.9 percent to Wake’s 25.0, winning the rebound battle 54-39 and committing 23 turnovers to 27 for the Deacons.
They said it …
Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie: “I liked our aggressiveness. We’re getting more aggressive, which is a good thing. Rebounding-wise I really liked Richa and Haley and Elizabeth (nine rebounds). We were trying to get three double-doubles and we were practically there. That speaks to aggression and that’s really, really important to us. … It was pretty painful to watch that (Connecticut) video. It was not a very pleasant experience and I don’t think you learn them all for the next game. I think you apply some of them.”
Wake coach Mike Petersen: “Master of the obvious — you can’t shoot 25 percent from the field and 50 percent from the line and get outrebounded by 15 and beat a ranked team. I thought in the first half we had some pretty good looks that we didn’t make, and they forced that some. They’re long and they speed you up a little bit. We’ve got to shoot the ball better and we didn’t shoot the ball very well.”
Peters: “I think you could see it in the first half, where we were just standing especially when they came in and got their (offensive) boards. We were just assuming no one was going to crash the boards and we could get the ball. They were our battling us and I think it clicked for us in the second half.”
Williams: “During halftime we knew that Wake Forest had too many offensive rebounds, so we definitely made an effort to box out. We really just tried to go hard and go after every rebound. Like Coach was saying, with our rebounds that’s when our energy picks up. They really got us going.”
What does it all mean?
That Duke knows how to focus between two marquee games, and Wake still needs some upsets to get into post-season play.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Peters’ 3-pointer to make it 14-7 with 14:56 left in the half.
Duke: Won 1.
Wake: Lost 3.
Duke leads 55-16.
Wake at Boston College, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Duke vs. UNC, Monday, 7 p.m.