by Mike Potter
CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM Duke unveils its 2011-12 women’s basketball team today with the annual Blue/White game.
The 6-3 center Elizabeth Williams was the biggest prize along with 6-4 forward Amber Henson and 5-10 guard Ka’lia Johnson. Also added to the roster is 5-6 walk-on Jenna Frush out of Northern High.
Scoring is slow at the outset, but the White ends up prevailing 75-53 in a contest in which most of the key players switch jerseys during the competition.
Tricia Liston leads all scorers with 24 and eight rebounds, followed by Haley Peters with 21 points and eight rebounds.
Williams finishes with 13 points and nine rebounds while Henson also chips in 13 points. Chloe Wells adds 11 with seven assists, Allison Vernerey 11 and Johnson 11 points each and Richa Jackson 10 with nine rebounds.
The teams combined to shoot 50 of 123 from the floor including 11 of 37 from 3-point range.
They said it …
Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie: “We were trying to get down the floor more efficiently and quicker. Sometimes we did and sometimes we didn’t. I compromised a little on the fluidity of offense to get the substitutions and the people I needed to see in combinations. Haley and Tricia really helped themselves first in the off-season. No one works harder than Haley. And Tricia has really had a great summer with her work ethic as well. You can see some neat results out there from them.”
Liston: “I felt good. Chelsea (Gray) was finding me really well and my other teammates got me the ball on the fast break when I was open for a layup. I was put in really good opportunities to score and then converted with that. I’ve been trying to be more versatile. Last year I was (as a freshman) I was catch-and-shoot and that’s all I felt comfortable doing. Now I feel comfortable taking it to the basket and creating for other people as well as shooting off the dribble.”
Gray: “The seniors from last year all did an amazing job showing us (current sophomores) how to lead. This year I’m just working on my leadership skills and trying to lead as a point guard and as a person. We have different weapons from last year and we won’t be looking to just one person. Everybody will have to contribute when we need those clutch scores and clutch stops on defense.”
What does it all mean?
That Duke has plenty of places to get scoring after the graduation of WNBA draft picks Jasmine Thomas, Karima Christmas and Krystal Thomas following last season.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Wells’ below the rim “alley-oop” from Gray to give the White a 54-38 lead with 9:02 left.
Duke vs. Pfeiffer (exh.), Nov. 3, 7 p.m.