CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM Duke puts its status as the nation’s only unbeaten Division I college basketball team on the line again tonight.
- Photo courtesy Duke athletics
- Duke center Elizabeth Williams
The visitor is Virginia Tech (7-9, 1-4 ACC), which has shown major signs of improvement this season under second-year mentor Dennis Wolff but is currently on a four-game losing streak.
Duke (15-0, 5-0) has won 17 straight meetings and is 10-1 against the Hokies in Cameron. Joanne P. McCallie’s Blue Devils are up to 11 healthy players.
It’s a defensive struggle with a lot of season lows for both teams, but Duke is stifling in a 58-26 romp.
The Blue Devils take the lead for good with a 7-0 run, beginning with an Elizabeth Williams three-point play with 16:28 left in the half to make it 9-2.
They have a 24-0 run spanning the halftime break, with Chelsea Gray’s jumper with 15:38 left in the game making it 44-14.
Williams finishes with 20 points and eight rebounds, followed by Gray with 12 and seven steals. Haley Peters has 10 rebounds with five points.
Monet Tellier paces the Hokies with 10 points.
Duke has its lowest output of the season and shoots its worst at 35.4 percent (to the Hokies’ 26.7). The 32-point margin is Tech’s worst loss of the campaign.
They said it …
McCallie: “I think Elizabeth is coming back strong. It’s a long road, but it was great to see her the way she was. She was scoring with two people hanging on her arms, and finishing and getting to the free-throw line.”
Wolff: “Obviously we need to play better on offense if we’re going to be in a game against a team as good as this. I thought for the first 12-15 minutes we competed pretty good, and it has happened to us that when it unravels it totally unravels. The turnovers that led to baskets had some of our younger kids looking shell-shocked.”
Williams: “I’m feeling really good. Like Coach said, being able to finish with contact is a big thing for me right now. Getting to the line and being able to do that was nice. Any ACC game is motivating for me.”
What does it all mean?
That the Blue Devils can play good enough defense that they usually don’t have to score much to win. Usually. Connecticut is next.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Williams’ three-point play to give Duke the lead for good at 5-2.
Duke: Won 16.
Va. Tech: Lost 5.
Duke leads 20-2.
Duke at Connecticut, Monday, 7 p.m.
Va. Tech at N.C. State, Jan. 24, 7 p.m.