No. 5 Duke 67, Virginia Tech 45
Duke got another win while losing another player as well.
Tricia Liston scored 17 points to help the No. 5 Blue Devils
beat Virginia Tech 67-45 on Wednesday night.
Chelsea Gray added 15 points for the Blue Devils (22-3, 13-0
Atlantic Coast Conference), who lost starting forward Richa Jackson
to a left knee injury in the first half.
”I really thought we grew as a team,” Duke coach Joanne P.
McCallie said. ”I think you can’t underestimate losing a player to
an injury and that effect. You have to really defy human instincts
because unfortunately what that does, empathy is what comes
”You don’t want empathy when you’re competing, and I thought it
was extraordinary what our team did to overcome that. They defied
human nature, really.”
Jackson fell to the floor under Duke’s offensive basket as she
was fouled by Virginia Tech’s Alyssa Fenyn with 9:21 to play in the
first half. Jackson remained on the floor for a few minutes,
clutching her knee as McCallie and trainers attended to her.
Two members of Duke’s training staff helped Jackson limp toward
the locker room as she struggled to put any weight on her injured
leg. Jackson is scheduled for an MRI exam Thursday, a Duke
”I can’t give you anything more, but she’s hurt,” McCallie
said. ”That’s all I can give you. I’m not a doctor.”
After a long pause, McCallie added, ”She’s out.”
Jackson came into the game averaging 9.8 points and 4.8 rebounds
The Blue Devils already were without starting point guard Chloe
Wells and reserve post player Amber Henson, who have both been out
since late December. Wells is not enrolled for the spring semester
due to a violation of university policy, and Henson had
season-ending knee surgery.
”We’ve got to play because they can’t,” Liston said. ”We just
have to take that in mind. Coach said something in the locker room
that nothing is guaranteed. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of
us, and that’s the way that we need to start playing now until the
end of the season.”
Liston made two 3-pointers and a steal during a 14-2 run in the
second half as Duke pulled away for its 29th consecutive home win
against conference foes.
Elizabeth Williams added 12 points and Haley Peters had 11 for
the Blue Devils, who shot 35 percent from the floor.
Aerial Wilson scored 15 of her 19 points in the first half to
lead Virginia Tech (7-19, 3-10). The Hokies suffered their 10th
loss in the last 11 games and their 17th consecutive defeat against
Virginia Tech went scoreless for the final 5:30 of the game as
the Blue Devils closed with an 11-0 run.
The Hokies finished with 18 turnovers and shot 31 percent from
the floor for the game.
”Absolutely no complaints with the effort,” Virginia Tech
coach Dennis Wolff said. ”I’d like a little bit better execution,
but every coach would.”
Wilson started the game 4 of 6 from the floor, including 3 for 3
on 3-pointers, but was 4 for 21 the rest of the way. She scored her
team’s first 11 points, helping the Hokies run out to a 13-9 lead
less than six minutes into the game.
Duke answered with a 14-3 run, led by a 3-pointer from Liston to
take control of the game.
The Blue Devils led 35-26 at halftime after making 14 of 20 free
throws. Duke attempted at least one free throw after each of
Virginia Tech’s 11 fouls in the half, but the Hokies had no
attempts on Duke’s five fouls.
Duke finished 25 of 34 on free throws, while the Hokies were 3
”I love that we were aggressive and got to the line a lot,”
McCallie said. ”That’s important to us.”
Both teams wore pink to raise awareness for breast cancer. The
Blue Devils sported pink trim on their white uniforms and wore pink
headbands and pink shoelaces. The Hokies wore pink warmup shirts to
go with pink shoes, socks and headbands.