No. 3 Duke shakes off early deficit, cruises to 16-0

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- It may have appeared to some observers that Duke was on top of its game against Virginia Tech. Don't count the Blue Devils' coach among them.

Abby Waner and Lindsey Harding scored 20 points apiece in an 86-54 victory over the Hokies on Sunday that kept No. 3 Duke undefeated but with room to improve.

"Overall, I was just disappointed with our effort," Duke coach Gail Goestenkors said. "We needed to pressure more."

Wanisha Smith added 14 points and Carrem Gay had 11 for the Blue Devils (16-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who had 32 fastbreak points to four for Virginia Tech (10-7, 1-2).

Alison Bales, who had five of Duke's seven blocks, said the Blue Devils defense "needs a little bit of work."

The two teams were close on turnovers, with 23 for Duke to 19 for Virginia Tech. But the Blue Devils capitalized, scoring 26 points off turnovers to 10 for the Hokies.

"A lot of times they just took quick shots," said Kirby Copeland, who led the Hokies with 17 points. "We've just got to be smarter with the ball."

Nare Diawara scored 14 for Virginia Tech and Brittany Cook added 12.

The Hokies' 54 points were the most an opponent has scored against Duke this season. The previous high was in Duke's 80-52 victory over Texas on Dec. 10.

"I thought certainly in stretches we played well enough to defeat a team that's undefeated and ranked in the top three in the country," Hokies coach Beth Dunkenberger said.

The Hokies led three times early in the first half, and kept the margin close until the Blue Devils hit three 3-pointers in a row -- two by Waner and one by her sister, Emily Waner.

"When we went on that run you could just kind of feel the adrenaline pick up a little bit," Abby Waner said.

The Waner sisters launched a 16-4 run that made it 35-22 Duke, and the Blue Devils extended their lead to 41-27 at halftime.

Cook scored the first basket after intermission, which gave the Hokies their closest margin of the second half at 41-29.

The Blue Devils stretched their lead to 63-41 on a shot by Gay at 10:18. The Hokies scored the next four baskets, but never threatened after that. Abby Waner scored 14 in the second half and Harding had 12, and Duke turned on the pressure, limiting Virginia Tech to seven points in the last 8 minutes.