No. 5 Duke dominates first half to hold off Old Dominion

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Led by veteran coach Wendy Larry, Old Dominion knew exactly what to expect when the Monarchs showed up at Duke. But things still turned out worse than they hoped.

No. 5 Duke rolled to an easy 89-40 win Wednesday night and the Blue Devils pounced on 30 Old Dominion turnovers, converting most of them into easy layups.

Shooting at virtually point-blank range, Duke scored 56 points from the paint and enjoyed its best shooting night of the year, 36-of-61 from the field.

"We turned the ball over too many times and Duke capitalized on it," said Larry, in her 20th season as head coach. "We had trouble taking care of the ball. They made their own breaks."

Literally. Duke scored 48 points directly off turnovers, mostly on fast-break layups.

Abby Waner, who had one of Duke's two 3-pointers, scored a game-high 16 points. Carrem Gay was 6-for-6, all on layups, and 1-for-1 at the line for 13 points. Joy Cheek added 12 points, Keturah Jackson 11 and Alison Bales 10 for Duke (6-0).

Tish Lyons had 11 points to lead Old Dominion (2-3). T.J. Jordan, Old Dominion's leading scorer with 15 points a game before Wednesday, was held to six points.

"Duke basketball is really known for its team defense, and that really is key," Bales said. "When our defense is clicking, we are pretty unstoppable."

The Blue Devils led 43-11 at halftime. They then hit 17 of 25 shots in the second half (68 percent) to win pulling away.

"In the second half, we did a really nice job offensively moving the ball and sharing the ball," Duke's Gail Goestenkors said. "I think that showed in our shooting percentage in the second half."

Gay left the court briefly after suffering a muscle spasm and taking a tumble at the start of the second half. She returned within 10 minutes.

Gay hit three quick layups in the game's first 2:18 as Duke jumped out to a 15-1 lead that grew to 43-11 by halftime. Duke's lead ballooned to 40 points midway through the second half. Bales pushed the margin to 81-31 with a layup and free throw with 5:29 left to play.

"I think when you get down that far against a team like Duke, it doesn't matter what kind of second half you play," Larry said.

Pleased with Duke's defense, Goestenkors was appalled at the Blue Devils out-rebounded Old Dominion by only 36-33. Old Dominion had an 18-11 edge in offensive rebounds.

"We have to improve in that area," Goestenkors said. "We've been getting away with some things that the teams we are getting ready to play won't let us get away with."

Duke plays three ranked opponents in 10 days, beginning Monday at No. 18 Rutgers. After that, Duke hosts No. 12 Vanderbilt on Dec. 7 and No. 22 Texas on Dec. 10 before a 10-day break for exams.