No. 4 Duke 71, Michigan 54

Duke didn’t panic when Michigan cut a 17-point deficit to three
points at halftime. The fourth-ranked Blue Devils just picked it up
in the second half and pulled away for an easy win.

Elizabeth Williams and Chelsea Gray scored 19 points each to
lead Duke to a 71-54 victory over Michigan on Wednesday night in
the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.

The Wolverines used a 15-1 run over the last 6:41 of the first
half.

”I can’t say we played a full 40 minutes, but we played an
interesting 25 minutes,” said Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie.
”We’re really happy with the poise we showed when we weren’t doing
exactly what we wanted, (and) we had some not smart turnovers that
opened the door.

”(The second half), that was Duke basketball, led by Chelsea
and Elizabeth. It was much more hard-nosed. You could see that in
the rebounding, in the takes, in the shot selection.”

Alexis Jones added nine points for the Blue Devils (5-0), who
did not have at least three double-digit scorers for the first time
this season. Williams, the reigning ACC rookie of the year, was
making her first start of the season.

Jenny Ryan tied a career high with 18 points and Kate Thompson
added 10 for Michigan (5-2). Leading scorer Rachel Sheffer was held
scoreless for the first 16 minutes and finished with eight
points.

”Duke is more savvy about (their defense),” Ryan said. ”They
kind of get you into places on the court where you don’t want to be
and then they trap hard. They use their length and their
athleticism really well.”

The Blue Devils took advantage of Michigan’s 20 turnovers,
scoring 26 points on the giveaways.

Duke turned to a baseline trap defense early which forced
multiple turnovers and successfully shut down the Wolverines’
outside threat. The Blue Devils also took advantage of their speed,
scoring easily in transition.

”They started the game in full court man-to-man pressuring us
like crazy,” Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico said. ”We got super
tight and were turning the ball over. Later in the first half they
went to their zone, they switched it up and we were able to score
out of that.

”To start the second half, they went back to their man. …
That really gave us our most difficult time when they pressured us
like that. They were so physical and we turned the ball over. When
we turned the ball over, hey got easy points in transition.”

Michigan, ninth in the nation in 3-point shooting at 42 percent,
only shot 36 percent from beyond the arc. Duke, tops in the nation
at 49 percent, was 7 for 13 – led by Gray’s 3-for-5 effort.

The Blue Devils had a size advantage in the post and scored 30
points in the paint. Duke was easily able to find Williams down low
for a bucket and had no problem breaking down Michigan’s man-to-man
defense.

However, Duke barely finished with a rebounding edge – 32-31.
Haley Peters had a game-high 10 boards for the Blue Devils, while
Nicole Elmblad led Michigan with seven.

The Blue Devils improve to 4-0 against Michigan. They last
played the Wolverines on Dec. 7, 2008, winning 60-45 at Cameron
Indoor Stadium.