Blue Devils make short work of Spartans thanks to inside tandem

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Duke's twin towers had no problems against North Carolina-Greensboro's tiny lineup.

Freshman Krystal Thomas had 20 points and 10 rebounds, fellow post player Chante Black added 17 points and the Blue Devils (No. 9 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) beat UNC Greensboro 84-39 Sunday in Joanne P. McCallie's coaching debut at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Black, who is 6-foot-5, and the 6-4 Thomas faced little resistance from a Spartans team that had just one player who is nearly that big -- a major reason for the Blue Devils' 44-30 rebounding advantage.

"Of course, when you have two 6-5s towers, it's going to intimidate anybody you play against," Black said.

The Blue Devils, set a school record with 28 steals, approached an arena record by forcing 38 turnovers and scored 44 points off those mistakes. They helped McCallie win her home opener, and Duke (3-0) win its 18th straight game at Cameron and improve to 44-5 in November during the last eight seasons.

"It's a nice direction to move in -- you can't always steal the ball that much, but it's important that you are hungry enough to go after it," McCallie said. "I thought our team was very hungry."

Joy Cheek and Brittany Mitch had 11 points apiece for Duke, which won despite being short-handed -- guard Abby Waner, the team's leading returning scorer, missed her second straight game with a sprained left ankle and sat on the bench in street clothes and a protective boot.

Monique Floyd had seven points to lead UNC Greensboro, which is without leading returning scorer Kristen Boone, who is out for the season with a knee injury. The Spartans are 0-3 for the first time since 1996 and fell to 0-5 when playing a ranked Duke team.

"The biggest issue is not to quit," coach Lynne Agee said. "When you're at our level, you're a mid-major, so-called, and playing the top 10 in the country, the issue is, 'Don't fold.' We need to compete the entire 40 minutes."

The Blue Devils let their defense take control during a dominating first half in which they turned up the pressure on UNC Greensboro's turnover-a-minute offense, forcing 19 giveaways and turning them into 21 points.

"We've got to be able to dictate the tempo, regardless of how anybody plays against us," McCallie said. "It was a little bit of a slow tempo [early], so we started pressing and running and trying to do some things to open things up for our team."

The Spartans (0-3) were just 3-of-16 from the floor in the half, went nearly 13 minutes between baskets and had their 16th turnover before their second field goal.

The Blue Devils put it out of reach by outscoring UNC Greensboro 15-1 during a 6 1/2-minute stretch, taking a 25-8 lead on Thomas' free throw with 5:30 left.

Duke took its largest lead of the half in its final seconds when Mitch's steal -- the Spartans' 19th turnover -- and subsequent layup made it 44-16 at the break. The lead surpassed 30 early in the second on a Jasmine Thomas basket.

The Blue Devils threatened the Cameron record of 45 turnovers forced against Morgan State in 1993, and surpassed the steals record of 25, which happened three times, most recently against Tulsa in 2002.