No. 2 Duke women beat No. 17 Oklahoma 94-85
When the men’s coach at your school is pushing 1,000 career
wins, 500 wins might seem like a small accomplishment, but Duke
women’s coach Joanne P. McCallie said she eventually will take time
to appreciate it.
Right now, though, she’s focused on guiding the Blue Devils
through a brutal December schedule and they took another step
toward that goal on Sunday.
Tricia Liston scored a season-high 23 points and No. 2 Duke gave
McCallie her 500th victory, beating No. 17 Oklahoma 94-85.
McCallie, who previously coached at Maine and Michigan State,
became the 30th active NCAA Division I coach to reach the 500-win
mark. The win was her 175th in seven seasons at Duke.
Of course, her men’s counterpart at Duke, Mike Krzyzewski, has
964 career wins, which McCallie uses to put her achievement into
”People talk about 1,000 wins a lot at Duke and it makes you
feel very humble,” she said. ”I don’t know what to say, but what
I will say is that I’ve had some great, great players and great
staff while I’ve been here. It’s been great people to work with and
great players to coach. It takes everybody.”
Alexis Jones added 20 points and six assists and Haley Peters
scored 18 points for Duke, which is 10-0 for the third time in the
last four seasons and the seventh time in the program’s
Before the end of the month, the Blue Devils – who are unbeaten
in three games this season against ranked foes – will face No. 1
Connecticut and No. 5 Kentucky, sandwiched around a game against
Albany. The Blue Devils opened the month with a win over No. 18
Purdue and now a road win over Oklahoma (6-3).
”It kind of lined up nicely, but we like to have it lined up,
because of the experience of our team,” McCallie said. ”When we
get this thing really together, we’re going to be really good. When
we get thing a little bit more cohesive, a little bit sharper,
we’ll hit another level and that will be fun.”
Aaryn Ellenberg scored a season-high 28 points and Morgan Hook
added a season-high 24 points for Oklahoma (6-3), which lost to a
top-five team for the second time this season. The Sooners fell in
overtime to No. 5 Louisville on Nov. 17.
Liston made only one 3-pointer in Duke’s previous two games –
wins against Kansas and No. 16 Purdue – but had three before
halftime and finished the game 5 of 10 from behind the arc, helping
her team finish 9 of 21 (42.9 percent).
The game was the first between Duke and Oklahoma since the 2002
national semifinals, which Oklahoma won before falling to
Connecticut in the title game. Duke was the highest-ranked
nonconference foe for the Sooners since No. 1 Connecticut on Feb.
Duke, the nation’s fourth-best 3-point shooting team at 43.6
percent, didn’t hit a 3-pointer during the first 12 minutes of
Sunday’s game, allowing the Sooners to hang close. After a basket
by Hook with 9:40 left in the half, the Sooners trailed only
The Blue Devils then went on a 14-2 run, fueled by a pair of
3-pointers by Liston and another by Chloe Wells. Wells’ basket put
Duke ahead 32-19.
”I think we were really focused on defense, especially
transition defense, and we were matching up with the shooters a lot
better than we were in the second half,” Liston said. ”We were
making them work for all of their first-half-points and I think
that kind of frustrated them a little bit.”
Oklahoma, which committed 15 first-half turnovers and 21 in the
game, came no closer than seven points the rest of the way. The
Blue Devils had an 11-0 spurt just before halftime to extend their
lead to 46-27.
”That little spell in the first half, where we turned it over
and kicked it out of bounds and threw it out of bounds and threw it
to them, was really the difference in the game,” Oklahoma coach
Sherri Coale said.
Duke now is 18-3 all-time against Big 12 schools, having lost
only to Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas.
Gray finished with 17 points, five assists and five steals for
Duke while Sharane Campbell added 16 points and Nicole Griffin
scored 15 for Oklahoma.