No. 3 Duke 82, No. 18 Miami 58

BY foxsports • February 4, 2011

Leave it to two of Duke's youngest players to help the Blue Devils put an embarrassing loss in the past and keep one of the greatest players in school history winless against her alma mater.

Haley Peters scored 15 points and fellow freshman Richa Jackson had a season-high 13 in her first start in No. 3 Duke's 82-58 rout of No. 18 Miami on Thursday night.

Still stinging from a 36-point loss to No. 2 Connecticut, the Blue Devils (21-1, 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) claimed in decisive fashion a matchup of two of the league's top teams while regaining some momentum heading into next week's showdown against rival North Carolina.

''We got punched in the face,'' Peters said. ''It was embarrassing. ... We can get better from this.''

Karima Christmas added 14 points for Duke - which shot nearly 55 percent, forced 20 turnovers, held a 42-31 rebounding advantage and overcame a rough night from its best player, Jasmine Thomas, to avoid its first losing streak since 2007-08.

''Jasmine is a very special player for us - a very special player - but to see others step up and lead and dictate and be aggressive, that only bodes well for the team,'' coach Joanne P. McCallie said. ''For the others, you've got to be ... completely resilient. No matter what's going on, you've got to have that resiliency, and I think that was very clear tonight that we did.''

Riquna Williams, the ACC's leading scorer, finished with 27 points on 8-of-25 shooting, but Miami (20-3, 6-2) shot 32 percent and had a season-low scoring total. Shenise Johnson, the league's No. 2 scorer, was held to 12 points - seven fewer than her average.

Miami's coach, former Duke All-American Katie Meier, fell to 0-7 against the Blue Devils during a career that also included a stop at Charlotte.

''I'm extremely disappointed we didn't play with more effort,'' Meier said. ''My huddles weren't even what I'm used to seeing with my kids. ... I love this team, and I love their mentality. Tonight, I missed them. I didn't see them as I've seen them all season.''

Miami cut it to single digits only once in the second half on a layup by Williams that made it 49-40 with 15:15 remaining, but Christmas followed by hitting layups 30 seconds apart to start the 18-3 run that put Duke comfortably ahead to stay. That came as Miami managed one field goal in a 10-minute span.

The Blue Devils improved to 6-1 against Top 25 opponents, ran their record to 8-0 all-time against Miami and won their 20th straight at Cameron Indoor Stadium. They did it despite some uncharacteristic struggles from Jasmine Thomas, the league's preseason player of the year who finished with four points - her fewest since a 3-point night two years ago against Virginia.

Jackson, who averaged only about 9 1/2 minutes in the Blue Devils' first 21 games, earned the start because of her energy against UConn, which dominated what at the time was the nation's only unbeaten team. Jackson delivered in this one, surpassing her previous high by halftime.

''I just tried to stay in there, play hard, fight, come out with a lot of heart, and it's been paying off lately,'' Jackson said.

Neither team led by more than five until Duke assembled a 23-8 run late in the first half and beat Miami downcourt with regularity, while the Hurricanes went more than five minutes between field goals. Williams was the only Miami player to score in the final 9 1/2 minutes of the half, racking up 13 points in that span.

Allison Vernerey's layup capped the burst and put the Blue Devils up 41-27 with about 2 minutes left.

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