by Mike Potter
Duke wasn't supposed to have much trouble in its women's basketball exhibition opener against Wingate at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
And the Blue Devils didn't.
Jasmine Thomas had 17 points followed by 16 from freshman Allison Vernerey (pictured), while four teammates scored in double figures as Duke walloped the Division II Bulldogs 99-31 on Thursday night.
Joy Cheek had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds for the No. 6 Blue Devils, while Krystal Thomas, Karima Christmas and Kathleen Scheer added 12 points each.
"(It was) great to get the season started and get after it as a team, good to have an opponent to execute and do things," Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "I thought there were some really good things out there on the floor, a million things to improve on but a great start. We are looking forward to the film and learning from the film some more things."
Duke shot 49.4 percent to from the floor to 24.4 for the visitors, forcing 41 turnovers while committing 11.
Kurie Washington led Wingate with 11 points.
"Every kid that grows up in North Carolina watches ACC basketball and dreams about getting to play in places like Cameron Indoor Stadium," Wingate coach Barbara Nelson said. "You see the fans jumping, you see it on TV, and it's exciting.
"We were excited to be here, and even after taking the thrashing we're still excited that we got a chance to be here, to play on this floor and play against a team as great as Duke is. I thought Duke's players were gracious, I thought the staff was gracious, and it's been a wonderful experience."
The Blue Devils will complete the exhibition portion of their season on Sunday at 2 p.m. against visiting Alaska Anchorage.