Albany loses 80-51 at No. 2 Duke
Shereesha Richards carried Albany for a while. When she slowed
down, so did the Great Danes.
Richards scored 20 of her 24 points in the first half of the
Great Danes’ 80-51 loss at No. 2 Duke on Thursday night.
Richards scored her team’s first 14 points and was the primary
reason Albany (8-2) led for the first part of the game.
”I wanted her to see herself play against the best players,”
Albany coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said. ”This young lady was
fun out there to watch against their players, and she needs to know
Richards made 10 of 15 shots from the floor in the first half.
Her teammates made 1 of 15 during that span.
”It wasn’t easy because there’s like two people, and they’re
going to come and double team,” Richards said. ”But I just found
a way to score. If my guards pass it in to me, I’ve just got to
find a way.”
Haley Peters scored 17 points for Duke (11-1), which shot 59
percent from the floor in its first game since an 83-61 home loss
to No. 1 Connecticut on Tuesday. Chelsea Gray and Richa Jackson had
12 points apiece.
Albany led 20-13 with 7:53 remaining in the first half, but Duke
answered with a 15-2 run en route to a 34-26 lead at halftime.
Elizabeth Williams started the spurt with a free throw and a
layup, and Tricia Liston added a bank shot and a 3-pointer to tie
it at 22 with 4:56 left in the half.
”I think we just weren’t focused,” Gray said. ”We had to pick
it up defensively.”
Oderah Chidom made a pair of free throws to give the Blue Devils
their first lead, and Peters added two layups to extend the cushion
The Great Danes cut the lead to 28-24 but never got closer.
”The team picked it up,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said.
”They got focused and got more aggressive.”
The Blue Devils opened the second half with a 17-2 spurt and
scored on their first 10 possessions of the half.
Peters started the streak with a layup and capped it with a
short jumper on a feed from Gray.
McCallie kept Liston on the bench at the start of the second
half after she grabbed no rebounds in the first half. Duke turned
an 18-13 rebounding deficit at halftime into a 35-24 advantage for
Abrahamson-Henderson, who worked as an assistant under McCallie
at Maine and Michigan State, expected the surge in Duke’s
”I kind of knew what she would say in the locker room, so I
knew they were going to come out really hard,”
Abrahamson-Henderson said. ”We just didn’t handle that very
Megan Craig, Albany’s 6-foot-9 center, returned after a two-game
absence due to an undisclosed injury, but Duke outscored the Great
Danes 42-22 inside.
Albany had won 16 consecutive road games dating to a loss at
Michigan State last season.