7:00 PM ET, January 10, 2007
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Abby Waner found her shooting touch at a good time for No. 3 Duke.Waner finished with a career-high 27 points and the Blue Devils beat Georgia Tech 83-51 on Wednesday night.Waner made 6-of-7 from 3-point range and 10-of-13 overall for the Blue Devils, who host No. 1 Maryland on Saturday. It will be their first game since the Terrapins beat Duke 78-75 in overtime to win the national championship last year."One of the first things we said when we got into the locker room was, 'At last, we can finally say we're excited to play Maryland,'" Waner said.Waner had connected on 24-of-75 3-pointers this season before getting hot against Georgia Tech."I guess it was just one of those nights," Waner said.She had not expected any great things, she said."Not with the way I've been shooting," she said. "Sometimes it felt like I was 0-of-36 from the 3-point line."Carrem Gay and Lindsey Harding had 16 points apiece for Duke (17-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference). The Blue Devils had assists on 21 of their 29 baskets."Our defense has been ahead of our offense, but it's coming along," coach Gail Goestenkors said. "Tonight was a really good night for us."Duke committed a season-high 24 turnovers but forced Georgia Tech into 26 and held the Yellow Jackets to 40 percent shooting."I was very impressed with their defense," Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said. "It is very difficult to reverse the all from one side of the floor to the other against them."Georgia Tech struggled without Janie Mitchell, its leading rebounder (6.7 a game) and third-leading scorer (13.4), who sprained her left knee Jan. 4. Duke outscored the Yellow Jackets 32-14 in the paint.Chioma Nnamaka led Georgia Tech (10-6, 1-2) with 13 points, and Jacqua Williams had 10. Nnamaka had 10 points by halftime but hit just 1-of-7 shots in the second half.Waner scored 15 points to help Duke take a 43-27 halftime lead. Harding hit four of her first six shots, including two 3-pointers, and had 11 points by intermission.Waner hit two 3-pointers in the first half and two more in the first 4:28 of the second half to help Duke open up a 58-30 lead."We weren't trying to force them to shoot great; we were trying to force them to shoot from the perimeter," Joseph said. "One of the things I didn't expect was for them to go 10-for-16 from the 3-point line."Nnamaka scored Georgia Tech's first 10 points. She hit a runner 2:30 into the game to give Georgia Tech a 5-4 lead.Waner then started a 12-0 run with a 3-pointer and the Blue Devils never trailed again. Harding capped the run with a 3 that made it 16-5 with 13:23 to go.
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