Johnson leads No. 7 Duke past Old Dominion, 82-66
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) Elizabeth Williams had a memorable homecoming and Ka'lia Johnson had a night she won't soon forget for No. 7 Duke.
Williams, a senior from Virginia Beach, finished with a game-high 22 points, eight rebounds and five blocks while Johnson registered just the seventh triple-double in school history to lead the Blue Devils to an 82-66 victory over Old Dominion on Thursday night.
''Being able to play in front of the home crowd makes you appreciate high school,'' said Williams, who had a large contingent of fans cheering.
Williams has 11 blocks in her two outings this season for Duke (2-0).
''She's the best shot blocker I've ever coached,'' Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said.
All five Duke's starters scored in double digits, with redshirt freshman Rebecca Greenwell adding five assists.
Tiffany Minor hit four 3-pointers and led ODU (2-1) with 16 points, Chelisa Painter added 14 points, and Jennie Simms 12.
Williams helped Duke take an early 17-11 lead with 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting. The Blue Devils expanded the lead to 24-12 on a 3-pointer from Greenwell before the Monarchs rallied to cut Duke's lead to three, 30-27, with a 15-6 run over a span of 6:38.
Duke took a 36-31 lead into the locker room and the second half was all Johnson, who had 12 points, six rebounds and eight assists in the final 20 minutes.
''I knew what I needed to do for my team,'' said Johnson, who finished with 18 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds. ''I just took my shots.''
Duke took command with a 14-2 run to start the second half. After the Blue Devils stretched their lead back to 12, 45-33, Johnson scored 10 of Duke's next 14 points and assisted on another basket in a four-minute span.
Duke extended the lead to as many as 21 before ODU rallied. The Lady Monarchs closed to within 67-56 with 5:38 to play, and to within 10 three times in the closing minutes before Duke pulled away.
''We showed a lot of growth, what we're capable of,'' ODU coach Karen Barefoot said. ''We gave our best punch. We showed we are a solid team. We were in the game.''
Duke had a 40-18 scoring advantage in the paint and a 12-4 edge on second-chance opportunities.
Duke shot 35 of 64 (55%) from the field, made 6 of 19 (32%) 3-pointers, outrebounded ODU 44-29, and registered 22 assists.
Duke: Blue Devils lead the series with Old Dominion 9-4. ... Duke has won 25 straight games against unranked opponents. ... Greenwell's 17 points in her first college game were the most by a Blue Devil rookie in a season opener since Joy Cheek totaled 18 points in 2006-07.
The Lady Monarchs had only 10 turnovers against Duke and outscored the Blue Devils 18-8 off turnovers. ... The Old Dominion bench outscored Duke's bench 22-10. ... Minor and Simms combined to hit 6 of 15 from beyond the arc.
Duke hosts Marquette on Sunday.
Old Dominion plays at Virginia Tech on Tuesday.