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No. 2 Duke beats SC-Upstate 123-40

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP)

Duke got to face an overmatched opponent for the first time this season, and the second-ranked Blue Devils wasted no time taking advantage of the opportunity.

Tricia Liston scored 20 points and Haley Peters had 17 points and a career-high 20 rebounds as Duke beat South Carolina-Upstate 123-40 on Thursday night.

Elizabeth Williams had 17 points for Duke (2-0), while Alexis Jones and Chelsea Gray added 14 each and Chloe Wells had 10 in its home opener.

''I'm happy the team played hard throughout and was focused throughout the game,'' said Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie, whose team opened the season with a 70-58 victory at No. 9 California on Sunday. ''There was a lot of energy off the bench.

''Our first group did a good job setting the tone. And I know there was a wide margin, but I thought we were very efficient. I thought we were smart with the basketball for the most part. We went after things and improved and all that was good.''

Maddie Herr had 10 points to lead Upstate (2-2).

''Obviously it was a tough game for us,'' Upstate coach Tammy George said. ''They were who we thought they were, No. 2 in the country and the score kind of indicates that. Playing last night (a 75-69 loss at High Point) was kind of tough.

''I think it's good for our program to come play teams like this and see what the bigger side is all about. It kind of lets you know where you are and what you need to work on. It lets you know what your weaknesses are. It's tough when all their kids are bigger, faster, stronger.''

Eleven players scored for Duke, which committed 17 turnovers to the Spartans' 30. The Blue Devils had 22 steals, six each from starting guards Jones and Gray.

Liston, one of five seniors on the team along with Peters, Gray, Wells and Richa Jackson (six points) had nine rebounds with a career-best six assists.

''I've just worked on my overall game,'' said Liston, who was on the United States' gold-medal winning team at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia. ''I think playing with U.S. Basketball over the summer really helped me play against good competition where (I) usually just practice. I'm trying to be versatile and aggressive, making plays happen and not waiting for things to happen for me.''

Duke's scoring record is 128 points against Howard on Dec. 6, 2002, and the record for margin of victory is 89 in a 117-28 win over North Carolina Central on Dec. 28, 1009.

Duke shot 56.8 percent from the field while the Spartans' shot 20.7 percent. The Blue Devils finished with a 63-24 rebound advantage in their 123rd straight home victory against unranked opponents..

The Blue Devils led 60-18 at halftime behind 11 points from Williams and 10 from Gray. Duke, which had runs of 17 points and two of 16 in the half, shot 52.5 percent to the Spartans' 21.4 and had 33 rebounds to Upstate's 10.

Peters made it 100-27 on a layup with 9:06 to play.

''After the first game I wasn't happy with myself at all,'' Peters said. ''I just wanted to be aggressive with the ball and focus better. For me there were a lot of little things that said `It's time to get going now.'''

Duke won the schools' only previous meeting, 93-35 on Dec. 11, 2011.

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