No. 7 Duke 97, Gardner-Webb 31

Gardner-Webb coach Rick Reeves hopes his young team can learn

something from its loss to No. 7 Duke.

The winless Runnin’Bulldogs were blown out by the Blue Devils

97-31 on Friday night in the Junkanoo Jam opening round.

”We graduated 60 points out of 68 a game,” Reeves said.

”We’re just trying to learn to score right now. We have a lot of

young kids playing. Two years ago, we were 28-3, and I couldn’t get

an at-large bid. I decided to schedule hard. We’re looking to be

good when we start our conference.”

Catrina Green scored 10 points to lead Gardner-Webb (0-5).

”We’ve been pretty good the last two years. We won 50 some

games in the last two years. But this year, we’re young and trying

to get better for conference,” Reeves added. ”Their experience is

unsettling. They make you have a lot of turnovers. They like to

keep the game in chaos. They have the type of talent, they could

win the national championship. They remind me a lot of Texas

A&M.”

Tricia Liston scored a career-high 23 points to lead Duke. She

had been scoreless in her first two games this season before

putting up consecutive 20-point efforts.

”I think I’m just more comfortable and being more aggressive on

the court,” she said. ”The first two games were obviously a

little rough for me. I had to bounce back and come out strong,

which is what I’ve been trying to do.”

”It was frustrating, definitely (going scoreless her first two

games). At the same time, shooters keep shooting. I was bound to

make one eventually. You can’t make it if you don’t shoot it. You

have to keep shooting.”

Chloe Wells added 14 points, making all five of her shots –

including three 3-pointers. Elizabeth Williams had 13 points and

Shay Selby 11 for the Blue Devils (5-0).

Duke will face fourth-ranked Notre Dame for the championship

Saturday night. Gardner-Webb will play Southern California.

”Tricia is just a fabulous guard,” Duke coach Joanne P.

McCallie said. ”She’s a terrific shooter, but she can also play

off the bounce and rebound and do other things. I just love it when

she’s in attack mode. There were no concerns about her. She’s just

a great all-around player.:

The Blue Devils jumped all over Gardner Webb in the first half,

scoring 25 of the game’s first 31 points and never looked back.

Duke led 50-18 at the break as Liston had 12 points in the first

half. Duke shot 51 percent from the field in the first half and

tied a season high with seven 3-pointers.

Duke extended its advantage to as many as 67 points in the

second half.