DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Duke kept taking the ball from Texas and
making free throws. For the fourth-ranked Blue Devils, that added
up to another easy win against a ranked opponent.
Wanisha Smith scored 11 of her 18 points in the first half to
lead Duke to an 80-52 victory over the 22nd-ranked Longhorns on
Lindsey Harding had 14 points and Abby Waner added 13 for Duke
(9-0), which shook off a slow start to earn its third consecutive
rout of a ranked team in a seven-day span. The Blue Devils also
beat No. 19 Rutgers by 40 points and No. 11 Vanderbilt by 21.
"I thought the games would be closer, the final scores would be
closer, but I'm proud of my team," Duke coach Gail Goestenkors
said. "It's a young team, but its shown they have that killer
instinct. ... This team has proven over this three-game stretch
that they're able to get good teams down and keep them down."
Earnesia Williams had 13 points, fellow freshman Carla Cortijo
had 11 and sophomore Erika Arriaran had 10 for Texas (7-2), which
had its four-game winning streak snapped.
"We're trying to figure out who we can count on and what we can
do on a consistent basis," Texas coach Jody Conradt said. "They
were taking it to us aggressively, and here's what I think happens
a lot with inexperienced players in difficult situations -- we
started to have breakdowns on the defensive end because we got
frustrated because we weren't scoring."
Texas forward Tiffany Jackson, who entered the game averaging
nearly 20 points, finished with eight points on 4-of-13 shooting
and failed to reach double figures for the first time in 16 games.
"It kind of forced me to take outside shots against double
teams, and sometimes even triple," Jackson said.
The Longhorns couldn't overcome their first-half problems of
turning the ball over and putting the Blue Devils on the foul line.
"We kind of got things under control and were able to trap
smartly," Waner said. "It really created some steals for us. They
were pretty predictable ... with where they were going to pass the
During the opening 20 minutes, the Longhorns had 18 giveaways
and Duke was 19-of-25 from the free throw line -- while Texas was
"Their press really rattled us towards the middle of the first
half, and I don't think we ever recovered," Jackson said.
Texas finished with a season-worst 33 turnovers and was 7-of-9
from the line while the Blue Devils finished 23-for-30 from foul
"Our frustrations defensively caused us to foul," Conradt
said. "It's breakdowns. It wasn't good, aggressive fouls. It was,
'We're frustrated, we got beat, we didn't rotate.' (And) all those
fit into the poise category."
Alison Bales added 10 points for the Blue Devils, who won their
22nd straight nonconference game at Cameron Indoor Stadium and
improved to 17-4 against ranked teams at home since 2000-01.
Duke has won each of its games this season by at least 21
points, but for a brief while it looked as though the Blue Devils
would be in for their first test of the season.
Texas jumped out to a 7-0 lead while the Blue Devils missed
their first six shots before getting things rolling.
"Initially, we didn't come out of the gate strong, and Texas
did," Goestenkors said. "They attacked us from the jump and it
took us a little while to get settled."
Duke scored eight consecutive points during a 15-6 spurt that
gave it the lead for good. Smith started the spurt with a 3-pointer
from the right wing, and capped it with a layup to make it 19-15.
"I was trying to be under control when I was going to the
hoop," Smith said. "I was just looking to find openings in their
defense and go to the free throw line."
The Blue Devils scored 10 straight points in the final minutes
of the first half as part of a 24-8 spurt that bridged halftime.
They led 40-27 at the break and capped the big run when Emily
Waner's 3-pointer with 15:14 to play made it 54-32, and they
cruised despite shooting a season-worst 38.6 percent.
"I kept waiting for the run, but our defense sustained us
through a tough shooting night," Goestenkors said.