No. 7 Duke 61, Virginia Tech 34
Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie isn't big on excuses, and with the No. 7 Blue Devils playing at Virginia Tech on Sunday after playing Florida State two days earlier, some might have been warranted.
Freshman Elizabeth Williams took care of that. She had 20 points, seven rebounds and four blocks and Duke took command with a 22-2 run in the first 10 minutes and beat Virginia Tech 61-34.
The victory was the 16th in a row in the series for the Blue Devils (14-2, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) and gave McCallie 50 victories in just 61 ACC games, making her the second-fastest to the milestone. Kay Yow of North Carolina State did it in 57 games.
It was, she said, a good lesson for her team in the rigors of a college schedule.
''This is important for the team to understand how to keep playing, and also how to get better without watching a lot of film,'' McCallie said. ''I like a resilient team, and I think we showed a lot of resiliency out there.''
Williams helped make it so, making her presence known inside with a few early blocks and scoring eight points in a 22-2 run that gave the Blue Devils a 24-4 lead midway through the first half.
''I just try to have an intensity defensively,'' the Virginia Beach native said. ''And then on offense, that's kind of when it slows things down and you're more patient.''
Alyssa Fenyn scored 11 to lead the Hokies (6-12, 2-3), who really never threatened after the Bloue Devils' big burst. Under first-year coach Dennis Wolff, the Hokies played with just six scholarship players, and only five Virginia Tech players scored.
''We get to a certain point in every game where ... these kids have played almost the whole game and they're playing against good players and they get tired, and they make some fatigue mistakes,'' Wolff said.
The Hokies lost Brittni Montgomery indefinitely when she aggravated a right knee injury in a loss to Virginia during the week, and are also without Nia Evans. She was away from the team for about two weeks with a family matter and is working back from a shoulder injury.
Richa Jackson added 11 points for Duke, which matched its average with 18 turnovers.
''We get upset. We get angry,'' McCallie said of the giveaways. ''But I also know that we have a very young team. ... They're going to go down.''
The Hokies committed 20, leading to 22 Duke points.
Williams, one of the nation's top recruits, sat out the last 7 minutes of the first half with two fouls and the Hokies closed to within 13, but the Blue Devils rebuilt their lead to 33-16 by the break and coasted. Duke outrebounded Virginia Tech 44-26 and limited them to 29 percent shooting.
The Blue Devils essentially put the game away in the first 10 minutes, outscoring the Hokies 22-2 after opening buckets for both teams. Jackson also had eight points in the burst.
The Hokies started 2-for-14 from the field with 10 turnovers.
Williams, who had a triple-double with 18 points, 16 rebounds and an ACC-record 12 blocks at Wake Forest on Jan. 6, was having her way inside but went to the bench after picking up her second foul, and the Blue Devils got sloppy.
They finished the half with 10 turnovers, only one fewer than the Hokies, who used a 9-3 run to get within 29-16 late in the half.
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