Scheer scores 14 points, Duke overcomes slow start to destroy Siena

LOS ANGELES -- A sluggish Duke team got a spark from a little-used freshman.

Kathleen Scheer scored 14 points to help Duke (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 8 AP) shake off the doldrums and beat Siena 86-41 Saturday night in the Women of Troy Basketball Classic.

"It's been a busy week and extremely trying for our team, the effort in the games that we've had," Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "Obviously Stanford, the travel to California, the turnaround time.

"We got a lot of contributions from a lot of different people. I thought we grew a lot on this trip."

Chante Black, Joy Cheek and Bridgette Mitchell each added 12 points for the Blue Devils (9-1), who forced 33 turnovers and shot 46.1-percent from the field.

Black, a 6-foot-5 senior center, added nine rebounds to earn tournament MVP honors.

The win capped a week in which they defeated Stanford (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today, No. 3 AP) at home on Tuesday and pulled out an overtime win over tournament host Southern California on Friday.

Siena's Merrick Volpe had two straight three-pointers around a Duke basket to pull the Saints within three but the Blue Devils finished the half with a 14-4 run. Scheer, a reserve who was averaging just 6.5 minutes per game, drained two three-pointers to spark the outburst.

Scheer finished with four three-pointers as she made five of eight shots.

"She's an excellent player," McCallie said. "She's had to play multiple positions for us and in this tournament she's been able to concentrate on being a guard. And I think it paid off enormously. We've very, very excited about Kathleen's play."

Serena Moore scored 15 points to lead Siena (2-8).

Duke struggled with its shooting early on and Siena took the lead twice midway through the first half, both coming on baskets by Moore. The Blue Devils used a 14-4 run to end the half, which included two 3-pointers by Scheer, to take a 39-26 lead into intermission.

Duke opened the second half with a 19-3 run to take complete control. The Blue Devils finished with a 45-point win but didn't approach their largest margin of victory this season, a 98-31 victory over Maine on Nov. 16.

"We had a really good first half and then the second half, it slipped away," Siena coach Gina Castelli said. "The press wears you down. You could tell it was wearing us down a little bit.

"We were making unforced errors. There were a few times where we were just standing there and throwing the ball away. It just snowballed."