7:00 PM ET, December 22, 2005
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Abby Waner enjoyed playing against some familiar faces.Waner, a native of Highlands Ranch, Colo., had 23 points -- including five 3-pointers -- and six assists to lead No. 2 Duke to a 99-52 victory over Colorado State on Thursday night."I try to approach each game with the same attitude, but, yeah, it is fun to play against people you know," Waner said. "Scoring was not the issue for me."Waner and her sister Emily will be returning home for the holidays on the same flight to Denver as the Colorado State team.Waner set the Duke freshman record for 3-pointers, and her 8-for-15 shooting overall led the team's 50-percent shooting (35-for-70) from the field.Colorado State coach Jen Warden is glad Waner left her native state. As an assistant at Colorado, Warden tried to recruit Waner to Boulder."If I had succeeded, she'd be playing against us for Colorado right now," Warden said. "Abby has always been something special. She was always been a great shot. She was always a great 'chemistry' player. What impresses me so much is how physical her game is now. She's tougher now."Duke coach Gail Goestenkors admitted she was worried about her team's physical play, pointing out to her Blue Devils (9-0) that they were listed among the NCAA leaders in both fouls (174) and turnovers (161)."Those two numbers stood out for me," Goestenkors said.The Blue Devils started slowly Thursday, holding a 13-12 lead 6 minutes into the game.Shortly after Goestenkors exhorted her team during a timeout to tighten up the defense, the Blue Devils went on a 31-3 run in the final 13:58 of the first half."We really started to get after them," Goestenkors said. "Once we became more aggressive and intense, that's when we started to score more points."Duke led 54-18 at halftime and Colorado State (5-4) never threatened after that.Wanisha Smith and Mistie Williams scored 13 points apiece, and Alison Bales added 11 as Duke outscored Colorado State 40-10 in the paint.Melissa Dennett had 16 points and 10 assists for Colorado State (5-4), which lost for the third time in four games.Duke limited Colorado State to 17-for-47 shooting (36 percent) and scored 46 points off the Rams' 33 turnovers.Warden was left impressed with Duke's thoroughness in dominating the game."This is the best team we've ever played," Warden said. "No offense to Texas Tech, no offense to Sheryl Swoopes, but this team is better."