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.