Second-half explosion propels Duke to rout of Miami



CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM Duke continues its grind through the ACC schedule, and tonight’s assignment isn’t a whole lot easier.

Duke guard Tricia Liston
The No. 5 Blue Devils (18-1, 8-0 ACC) will host Miami (14-6, 5-4), which likely would have been ranked had it not lost to No. 11 UNC 64-62 at home on Sunday.

The Hurricanes, who are winless in nine tries against the Blue Devils, are coached by former Duke All-American Katie Meier. It’s the first time in four seasons the Hurricanes have been unranked at the time of the Duke game. They’ll play again on Feb. 28 in South Florida.

Duke struggles early but comes up with a huge second half, rolling to an 82-43 decision that’s the most lopsided in series history.

Miami leads most of the first half, going up by eight twice in the early going before it’s 29-29 at the break. Krystal Saunders has 15 at the half for the Hurricanes, all on 3-pointers.

Shawnice Wilson makes it 33-31 for the Hurricanes with 18:47 left before the rout starts.

Duke scores 20 straight points, ending in Elizabeth Williams’ layup from Chelsea Gray with 12:52 to go, before Wilson’s two free throws at 12:14 end the drought.

Tricia Liston leads the Blue Devils with 17 points, followed by Gray with 16 and Alexis Jones’ first career double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Williams chips in 12 points and Haley Peters 10 for the Blue Devils.

Saunders finishes with the 15 points.

Duke shoots 50 percent including 57.1 in the second half, while Miami finishes at 27.4 after 16.4 after the break.

Duke wins the rebound battle 46-37 and commits 15 turnovers to Miami’s 22.

They said it …

Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie: “It was just a great second half for us. We were playing more of our game, inside and out, attacking. I didn’t think the first half was necessarily bad. I just think we took too many quick shots and put ourselves in position where we were running back on defense too many times. Our transition defense was a little suspect. But I’m proud of the second half. That’s the direction we have to move.”

Miami coach Katie Meier: “I don’t think we competed in the entire game. I thought in the first half we just caught Duke flat. We had a great performance by Krystal Saunders to keep us in it, but I still didn’t like how we were competing. I didn’t think we were physical enough.”

Liston: “I think our defense was playing well (in the second half), especially with Chelsea on the steals that started the fast break. Once we got one it kind of sparked everyone and it pretty much kept going from there.”
Gray: “We were being more aggressive and reading each other and talking. That was key. If they were setting screens we had to know who was helping off. That was good.”

What does it all mean?

That Duke is doing a great job taking care of business in the conference, and that Miami needs to rebound fast.

Stars of the game
1. Liston.
2. Gray.
3. Jones.

Play of the game

Williams’ fast-break layup from Gray to make it 51-33 with 12:52 to go.

Duke: Won 3.
Miami: Lost 2.

Duke leads 10-0.

Up next
Duke at UNC, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Miami vs. Virginia Tech, Sunday, 2:05 p.m.

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