(4) Duke 75

(11-0, 4-0 away)

SMU 45

(7-4, 6-2 home)

    4:30 PM ET, December 20, 2006

    1 2 T
    #4DUKE 35 4075
    SMU 17 2845

    Waner, Bales help Duke roll to easy victory over SMU

    CANCUN, Mexico (AP) -- Southern Methodist played right into Duke's hands.

    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 tone."

    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 free-throw line.

    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 percent shooting.

    "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 a week."

    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 opening half.

    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 free-throw line.

    The Mustangs finished 1-1, with a 73-50 win over Detroit on Tuesday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2006-07 Season

    » Dec 20, 2006 DUKE 75, @SMU 45Recap | Box Score