7:00 PM ET, January 17, 2005
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Duke coach Gail Goestenkors sensed trouble long before the game even started, brought on by lackadaisical effort in practice. So when the Blue Devils fell behind less than a minute in, she called a timeout to tell her players about it.Loudly."I had a feeling in practice something like this was coming," Coach G said. "I didn't feel like we were playing hungry. We're a great team when we're a hungry team."She leaned into the face of nearly all the starters and yelled at them for the lackluster start, and eventually the tongue-lashing took effect.Monique Currie scored 27 points and Jessica Foley made seven of Duke's school-record 13 3-pointers, helping the top-ranked Blue Devils rally from their largest deficit of the season to beat Georgia Tech 82-59 on Monday night."I was really proud of how we responded," Goestenkors said. "There were some good lessons for us about being ready from the start."Foley finished with a career-best 23 points for the Blue Devils (17-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who have won 15 straight since a loss at Notre Dame in November. They beat the Yellow Jackets (10-5, 1-3) for the 24th time in a row, dating to Feb. 27, 1994.Wanisha Smith added 16 points for Duke, Currie finished with 11 rebounds and Alison Bales had five blocks."We are a good team, and I never had any doubt that we would come back," Currie said. "I just think we didn't play our game, and we knew that when we started to play our game, things would start to go our way."But this victory was a bit harder than the rest. Georgia Tech's first five baskets were 3-pointers, including three from Jill Ingram, who scored 18 of her career-high 20 points in the first half.After the second 3 made it 6-0 about 40 seconds after the opening tip, Goestenkors said her piece and Duke got to 6-5 on a 3-pointer by Smith. Georgia Tech continued its barrage from beyond the arc, with Ingram making the final one of the early spurt to make it 15-5.She added a jumper a couple minutes later to give the Yellow Jackets a 23-8 lead. The 15-point margin surpassed an 11-point deficit the Blue Devils faced earlier this season against Penn State."I always wanted to play against Duke, for the longest time," Ingram said. "I wanted to come out and play hard for 40 minutes."The lead still was 11 before the Blue Devils rallied. Currie had seven of their points during an 11-2 run, and a 3 from Foley left Georgia Tech with a three-point lead late in the first half. Ingram heaved in a desperation 30-footer in the final seconds with the shot clock winding down, and the Blue Devils trailed by six at the break."I thought in the first half we got outhustled, outworked," Goestenkors said. "They're not normally a great 3-point shooting team but had players stepping up and hitting shots."Consecutive 3s by Chioma Nnamaka early in the second half gave the Yellow Jackets a 45-35 lead before they completely fell apart. They went nearly eight minutes without a basket and were outscored 33-10 during that span."I don't think I've ever seen a team explode like that," Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said.Meanwhile, Currie was finding her range. She scored nine points in about three minutes -- part of 19 straight points for Duke -- and helped hold Ingram to a 1-for-7 effort in the second half."I don't think we played very good defense until the second half," Currie said.Goestenkors improved to 3-0 against Joseph, who played at Purdue when Goestenkors was an assistant in the early 1990s.Nnamaka scored 17 points for the Yellow Jackets."I just give Georgia Tech a lot of credit," Goestenkors said. "They came in very ready to play, very hungry. I think we'll learn a lot of good lessons from this about really being ready to play from the jump and understanding that we're going to get everybody's best shot."