Duke recovers from Kentucky loss with romp over USC Upstate | Sports

Duke recovers from Kentucky loss with romp over USC Upstate

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Chelsea Gray defends against USC Upstates Tyra Smith in the Blue Devils 93-35 romp.
  • Photo by Chris Baird
  • Chelsea Gray defends against USC Upstate's Tyra Smith in the Blue Devils' 93-35 romp.
CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM Duke comes home looking for a solid performance after listening to 14,000-plus Kentucky fans in its 72-65 loss Thursday night at Rupp Arena.

Today’s opponent is USC Upstate, a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference which is in its first full season in NCAA Division I.

Duke (6-2), currently ranked No. 6, has won 28 straight games in Cameron and that isn’t likely to be challenged today. Upstate (1-7) has already lost big guarantee games at Vanderbilt and Auburn in double-the-score fashion, and lost 91-34 at UNC on Nov. 13.

Duke has a shaky first couple of minutes but eventually pulls away, rolling to a 93-35 win.

The Blue Devils lead 44-24 at halftime after Upstate puts up a fight in the opening minutes.

Dukes Elizabeth Williams drives to the hoop while Tyra Smith defends.
  • Photo by Chris Baird
  • Duke's Elizabeth Williams drives to the hoop while Tyra Smith defends.

Freshman center Elizabeth Williams leads the way with a season-high 22 points on 10-for-10 shooting, the most field goals without a miss for Duke except for Sheana Mosch’s 12-for-12 in a 92-42 win over Clemson on Jan. 28, 2001.

Haley Peters ties her career high with 17 points while Chloe Wells adds 11 points and a career-high seven steals and Kathleen Scheer comes off the bench for 10 points.

Tee’Ara Copney scores eight, all in the first half, to lead Upstate.

Duke shoots 59.7 percent from the floor to Upstate’s 25.5, wins the rebound battle 41-21 and commits 18 turnovers to the visitors’ 32.

They said it …

Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie: “We’re working on getting better out there. We’re looking to grow our team and we used a lot of combinations and defenses. Haley was solid and strong and aggressive and focused. And the same is true for Elizabeth. She was efficient and did what she could do when she could do it.”

Upstate coach Tammy George: “I felt like we played pretty well in the first half, but in the second half the bottom kind of fell out and they blew it open pretty big. I’m proud of my kids — they played hard for the most part and didn’t quit.”

Williams: “I worked out a bunch this summer, and it’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing. I think we’ve grown into that a little bit as we’ve gone on. I just make sure I keep rebounding.”

Haley Peters contemplates a free throw.
Peters: “’E’ has done a great job. She’s grown in terms of her mental pace, I think. She’s not going to get rushed, and you can see it on the court. The more that starts to show, the better she’s going to be.”

What does it all mean?
That Duke has no trouble batting away outmanned opposition.

Stars of the game

1. Williams.
2. Peters.
3. Wells.

Play of the game

Chelsea Gray’s three-point play off a follow shot to make it 63-28.

Up next
USC Upstate at Stetson, Dec. 17, 1 p.m.
Duke vs. UNC Wilmington, Dec. 20, 7 p.m.

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