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Duke women finish exhibition season with big win

Posted November 3, 2013

Tricia Liston was among the Blue Devils players in double digits in Sunday's win.

— Junior Elizabeth Williams totaled 29 points and 10 rebounds to pace the second-ranked Duke women’s basketball team to a 102-50 exhibition win over Coker College Sunday, Nov. 3 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Williams collected her second consecutive double-double and freshman Oderah Chidom, senior Haley Peters and senior Tricia Liston also reached double figures as Duke closed exhibition play on a strong note.

“Good things about the game for us included improvements defensively rebounding-wise,” said head coach Joanne P. McCallie. “It’s a process and I think we are taking steps and as long as we are demanding of ourselves it will be super … We are excited, these have been two great exhibitions for us and it will be fun to apply those lessons into the next games.”

The Blue Devils controlled play from the opening tip, with Williams recording the game’s first basket just five seconds into the contest. The 6-3 center out of Virginia Beach, Va., was dominant above the rim throughout the half, tallying 10 points in the first eight minutes to fuel a 25-4 start by Duke.

Defensively, the Blue Devils held Coker without a field goal for nearly a four-minute span midway through the half and forced 13 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.

Williams logged 13 points and eight boards in the first period while senior Tricia Liston joined her in double figures with 10 points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field. Duke took a commanding 57-25 advantage into the break.

“The way [Williams] played above the rim and really getting after it was inspiring,” McCallie said. “And to get Haley [Peters] in, she had some foul trouble, which I was kind of glad because I want her to get that feeling. She plays very aggressive and I want her to understand the game the way it is now. She was very efficient in 16 minutes. Haley is a smart player.”

Peters launched a three-pointer to open the second half and ignite a 23-12 run by the Blue Devils over the next 10 minutes. Freshman Kendall McCravey-Cooper provided a lift off the bench, swatting a shot and finishing with a layup at the other end to push the margin to 85-40 with 8:15 remaining. Chidom also turned in a strong performance in just her second appearance, chipping in five rebounds and 17 points – including 11 in the second half.

“I loved Oderah [Chidom] and Kendall [McCravey-Cooper] off the bench,” McCallie said. “They looked more like sophomores today, last time they looked like freshmen. They looked a little bit more mature.”

Duke stretched its lead to 50 points inside the final three minutes on its way to the 102-50 victory. The team shot 60.9 percent from the field and 53.6 percent from three-point land while scoring 36 points off of 24 turnovers by the Cobras.

Senior Chelsea Gray dished a game-high 12 assists to go along with six points, while Peters registered 13 points and seven rebounds and Liston added 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. McCravey-Cooper turned in a solid showing with six points and seven boards and junior Ka’lia Johnson also came off the bench to tally nine points on 4-of-7 shooting.

Following the two exhibition games, Duke will open the regular season Sunday, Nov. 10 at No. 9 California. That game will tip off at 6 p.m. ET in Berkeley.

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