1:00 PM ET, December 10, 2006
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 Sunday.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 ball."During the opening 20 minutes, the Longhorns had 18 giveaways and Duke was 19-of-25 from the free throw line -- while Texas was 0-for-1."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 line."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.
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||20-50 (.400)||27-64 (.422)|
|3P Made-Attempted||5-8 (.625)||3-13 (.231)|
|FT Made-Attempted||7-9 (.778)||23-30 (.767)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||21 (0/0)||12 (0/0)|