CANCUN, Mexico (AP) -- Southern Methodist played right into
The Mustangs kept driving to the basket even though the
fourth-ranked Blue Devils kept blocking their shots and stealing
the ball to set up a 75-45 victory in the Caribbean Classic
Tournament on Wednesday.
"It's easier for us to match up with teams that like to
penetrate," said Blue Devils coach Gail Goestenkors, who started
out 11-0 for the third time in her 15 years at Duke. "We set the
Alison Bales had four blocks and 10 points, and Abby Waner
scored 12 points to lead Duke in the teams' first meeting. The Blue
Devils close the tournament Thursday against No. 22 Pittsburgh,
which beat Liberty 54-47 Wednesday, and then have a Christmas break
until Dec. 29.
"We would like to go home undefeated," Goestenkors said.
Carrem Gay added 12 points and Brittany Mitch 10 for the Blue
Devils, who went 6-of-14 from 3-point range and 17-of-22 from the
Janielle Dodds led Southern Methodist (7-4) with 14 points and
five assists, and Katy Cobb had 10 points and four steals.
Duke shot 42 percent, outrebounded the Mustangs 54-39 and
managed 12 steals.
The 6-foot-7 Bales towered above the Mustangs, who committed 17
turnovers and shot 22 percent from the field.
Duke leads the nation in defense, holding opponents to 29
"They were more of a penetrating team, and that's the style
we're used to," said Bales, who also had nine rebounds. "Still it
was not very good, up until yesterday we hadn't played in more than
The Blue Devils got off to a fast start against the Mustangs,
shaking off the rust from their turnover-filled, 55-46 win over
Bowling Green on Tuesday.
Leading 7-6, Duke got five points from Waner and four from Gay
for a 16-6 lead with 13:20 remaining.
Duke closed the first half with a 19-7 run to lead 35-17 at
halftime on 50 percent shooting. The Blue Devils were 8-for-8 from
the free-throw line in the opening 20 minutes.
"We did a much better job spreading the offense and opening up
the floor," Goestenkors said. "We were more patient, more
focused, and we shared the ball."
Waner had 10 points and Bales added six points and three blocks
by the break for Duke, which held SMU to 16 percent shooting in the
The Blue Devils went on 16-4 burst midway through the second
half for a 63-36 lead that put the Mustangs away.
SMU missed its 12 3-point attempts and shot 17-for-25 from the
The Mustangs finished 1-1, with a 73-50 win over Detroit on