Blue Devils take on DePaul for spot in Elite Eight | Sports

Blue Devils take on DePaul for spot in Elite Eight

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Duke will try to earn a spot in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Elite Eight today at 2:30, when the No. 6 Blue Devils take on No. 10 DePaul in the semifinals of the Philadelphia Regional.

Duke seniors Jasmine Thomas (left) and Karima Christmas hope to survive and advance.
  • File photo by Al Drago
  • Duke seniors Jasmine Thomas (left) and Karima Christmas hope to survive and advance.
The winner will play in the regional final on Tuesday night at 7 against the winner of today’s noon game between defending NCAA champion Connecticut and fellow Big East member Georgetown.

Duke (31-3) is the No. 2 seed in the region while DePaul (29-6) is No. 3.

“Our keys are playing how we’ve been playing,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “Our offense has been flowing beautifully if you look at what we’ve been doing the last six games. Hopefully we can keep attacking the hoop. Defending DePaul is very tricky because of their ability to go inside-outside with three-point shooting in the transition. We need to be on that big-time. We are going to have to limit them in transition, keep them out of the paint, no layups, no threes, and do an inside-out defense. …

“Offensively, our numbers are sky high right now. Our shooting percentage is the highest it’s ever been. Our scoring is the highest it’s ever been. Our assists are the highest they’ve ever been and our turnovers are as small they’ve ever been. So we need that trend to continue in order to advance.”

The teams have split two previous meetings, but the most recent was in 1997.

“We’ve been talking about how to control our tempo, and I think that’s really important in the offensive game because we don’t want to be rushing shots,” Duke’s senior guard Jasmine Thomas said. “We want to be patient and execute by getting the ball inside and out. That’s something we’ve definitely have been working on and have been focused on for the start of the game.”

Duke freshman guard Tricia Liston grew up less than half an hour from the DePaul campus in River Forest, Ill.

No. 6 Duke vs. No. 10 DePaul
[Today, 2:30 p.m., Liacouras Center, Philadelphia]
Audio:
WDNC 620.
Video: ESPN2.
Records: Duke 31-3, DePaul 29-6.
Coaches’ records — Duke: Joanne P. McCallie 429-173, 113-25 at Duke; DePaul: Doug Bruno 498-294, 487-270 at DePaul.
Leading scorers — Duke: Jasmine Thomas 14.9; DePaul: Keisha Hampton 16.1.
Leading rebounders — Duke: Krystal Thomas 8.5; DePaul: Felicia Chester 6.5.
Assist leaders — Duke: Jasmine Thomas 3.4; DePaul: Sam Quigley 3.9.

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