Women's College Basketball

No. 4 Duke women stand as last unbeaten in D-I

Posted January 15, 2013

— There's only one undefeated basketball team left in Division I — and it's the Duke women.

The fourth-ranked Blue Devils (15-0, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) are off to another hot start, winning their first 15 games for the second time in three seasons.

They not only haven't lost, they haven't really been tested for a full 40 minutes: Duke hasn't had a game decided by fewer than 10 points and its average margin of victory is more than 30 points.

Still, the Blue Devils aren't getting caught up in their hot start.

"We're just kind of in our world, trying to get better, recognizing that there's a lot of great teams out there," coach Joanne P. McCallie said Tuesday. "It hasn't been anything that anyone's really thought about. To me, that kind of stuff is banquet material, end-of-year stuff, not during-year stuff."

Next up for the Blue Devils is Virginia Tech on Wednesday night, a game Duke is expected to win. And while they say they're not looking past the Hokies, looming on the horizon is a visit to No. 3 Connecticut next Monday.

The Huskies have spoiled a perfect start by Duke before. Two years ago, Duke was the last unbeaten women's team at 20-0 entering its visit to UConn and wound up losing by 36 points.

Nobody's forgotten about that embarrassment.

"It was one of the roughest film sessions we've had," said junior Chelsea Gray. "I never want to walk away from that feeling. I remember that feeling still to this day."

The setback against UConn aside, the Blue Devils have been feeling pretty good about themselves recently.

This is the fifth time they have started the season at least 15-0 since 2002-03. It's the second time McCallie has taken a perfect start this deep into January, and the juniors on this team were freshmen the last time it happened.

The current team has just one senior — post player Allison Vernerey — and is more reliant on its offense than the defense-driven group in 2010-11.

These Blue Devils average nearly 81 points and rank third in both scoring margin and field goal percentage, shooting 49 percent. Duke also leads the nation by making nearly 45 percent of its 3-pointers.

Gray and sophomore post player Elizabeth Williams form one of the top one-two punches in the country.

Gray picked up her second career triple-double earlier this month at Boston College and leads the ACC with 98 assists, while Williams is sixth in the league in scoring (15.5 ppg) and tops with 49 blocked shots — at least one in every game of her college career.

Haley Peters is a 53 percent shooter while Tricia Liston makes nearly 48 percent of her 3s for a team that leads the ACC in seven key stat categories.

"They're not really a satisfied group. They don't seem to be into that," McCallie said. "They really like to play well, and they get irritated when they don't, more than most teams I've had where you might have to convince them — 'Look at this film' — these guys kind of know it."

And without any actual losses, the Duke players have taken to treating some of their victories as defeats. The Blue Devils weren't their usual dominating selves during the first half of their last game, a 29-point win at Wake Forest.

"Sometimes when you win a game, you don't win it like you want and you're like, 'We won, but we didn't like it.'" Gray said. "Sometimes that can be taken as a loss by us."

Duke still has room for improvement — its rebounding margin of nearly plus-11 is nice, but McCallie said it can be better.

The starting lineup includes three juniors, a sophomore and a freshman. And incoming recruit Rebecca Greenwell made headlines Monday night by setting a national high school record by making 17 3-pointers in a game.

So while the future looks bright for Duke, the players are keeping their focus on the present.

"You get a bunch of dominos and you're trying to knock them down," McCallie said. "You treat every game the same and you just try to get better after every game. There's no level of satisfaction except there is an excitement to keep going."

Despite some early-season success and hot starts from her key players, not all has been smooth sailing for Coach McCallie. This year, on top of the regular stresses of coaching a top program, her daughter Maddie McCallie is now a college basketball player at Miami of Ohio.

"It's an interesting transition and I'm still trying to figure it out."

This season, after making it through practices and games at Duke, the coach has a second team in mind.

"I miss her a lot. I wish I could be there more for her. I've only seen two games this season and probably won't see any others. It's a humbling thing."

When time allows, Coach McCallie will travel to her daughter's games. However, this is not often. Oftentimes she is stuck watching her daughter's games online. She says she still manages to talk with her daughter plenty, offering her some wise advice.

"I really don't talk a lot about basketball with her. I just make sure she's getting enough rest."

Coincidentally, the coach offers the same advice to her team. Judging by the success of the early season, the advice is serving Duke well.

1 Comment

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • concernedincary Jan 15, 2013

    Go Duke!! Will be there to watch the tyeam. They are great!

  • MiLB: Durham Bulls vs. Gwinnett Braves

    Tonight at 7:00 on METV 50.2

  • PGA Golf: Quicken Loans National

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Durham Bulls vs. Gwinnett Braves

    Tomorrow at 6:30 pm on METV 50.2

  • PGA Golf: Quicken Loans National

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Durham Bulls vs. Gwinnett Braves

    Sunday at 5:00 pm on METV 50.2

  • PGA Tour Special: PGA Tour 2015: Playing with a Purpose

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA Golf: WGC – Bridgestone Invitational

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA Golf: WGC – Bridgestone Invitational

    Sunday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Durham Bulls vs. Gwinnett Braves

    Tonight at 6:50 on Buzz Sports Radio

  • MiLB: Durham Bulls vs. Gwinnett Braves

    Tomorrow at 6:20 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

  • MLB: Washington Nationals at NY Mets

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Washington Nationals at NY Mets

    Sunday at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

MLB Scoreboard
Interleague
San Francisco 5:05 PT6:05 MT7:05 CT8:05 ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 MST7:05 EST7:35 VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 CT
Preview
Texas 
 
Arizona 5:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Houston 
 
LA Angels 7:10 PT8:10 MT9:10 CT10:10 ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 MST9:10 EST9:40 VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 CT
Preview
LA Dodgers 
American League
Detroit 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Baltimore 
 
Kansas City 4:07 PT5:07 MT6:07 CT7:07 ET19:07 ET23:07 GMT7:07 4:07 MST6:07 EST6:37 VEN3:07 UAE (+1)6:07 CT
Preview
Toronto 
 
Tampa Bay 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Boston 
 
NY Yankees 5:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Chi White Sox 
 
Seattle 5:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Minnesota 
 
Cleveland 6:35 PT7:35 MT8:35 CT9:35 ET21:35 ET1:35 GMT9:35 6:35 MST8:35 EST9:05 VEN5:35 UAE (+1)8:35 CT
Preview
Oakland 
National League
Atlanta 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Philadelphia 
 
Pittsburgh 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Cincinnati 
 
Washington 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
NY Mets 
 
San Diego 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Miami 
 
Chi Cubs 5:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Milwaukee 
 
Colorado 5:15 PT6:15 MT7:15 CT8:15 ET20:15 ET0:15 GMT8:15 5:15 MST7:15 EST7:45 VEN4:15 UAE (+1)7:15 CT
Preview
St. Louis 
 
Womens British (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1S. Pettersen-718
2tT. Lu-518
2tS. Ryu-518
4J. Ko-414
5tM. Lee-318
5tA. Nordqvist-318
5tL. Ko-318
8tM. Miyazato-218
8tI. Park-218
8tA. Yang-215
View Full Leaderboard
 
Paul Lawrie (EURO)
Leader in BOLD/CAPS
MatchHScore
WOOD v Campillo145 and 4
QUESNE v Singh154 and 3
Benson v HAVRET172 and 1
HOEY v Broberg145 and 4
Levy v MADSEN154 and 3
RAMSAY v Molinari154 and 3
HATTON v Lundberg164 and 2
Fitzpatrick v UIHLEIN191 up
HOWELL v Drysdale146 and 4
DOAK v Lawrie181 up
APHIBARNRAT v Storm163 and 2
AIKEN v Dodt182 up
Morrison v CARLSSON172 and 1
Canizares v KARLSSON154 and 3
WARREN v Zanotti163 and 2
COLSAERTS v Fisher, Jr.154 and 3
View Full Leaderboard
Madeira Islands (EURO)
PosNameScoreThru
1tS. Walker-1118
1tP. Widegren-1118
3A. Hortal-1018
4tB. Akesson-818
4tP. Relecom-818
4tB. Stone-818
4tS. Henry-818
8tS. Fallon-718
8tR. Kakko-718
8tP. Oriol-718
View Full Leaderboard
 
3M Championship (CHMP)
PosNameScoreThru
1tR. Spittle-415
1tK. Sutherland-414
1tG. Waite-414
1tJ. Sluman-410
1tT. Lehman-48
1tJ. Coston-47
7tG. Kraft-312
7tW. Wood-311
7tD. Frost-310
10tB. Wadkins-214
View Full Leaderboard
 
ATP Scoreboard
Friday, Jul. 31
BB&T Atlanta Open (ATP)
Quarterfinals
D. Kudla7 6    
D. Sela5 0    
(1) J. Isner 
R. Berankis 
(7) G. Muller 
G. Soeda 
(2) V. Pospisil 
(5) M. Baghdatis 
 
bet-at-home Open (ATP)
Quarterfinals
L. Pouille6 6    
B. Paire3 2    
(8) F. Fognini6 7    
A. Bedene4 5    
(1) R. Nadal6 6    
(5) P. Cuevas3 2    
(4) A. Seppi     
S. Bolelli     
 
Suisse Open Gstaad (ATP)
Quarterfinals
(2) F. Lopez77 6    
(8) S. Giraldo64 4    
(3) D. Thiem6 3 6   
(7) P. Carreno Bu4 6 2   
(4) P. Andujar6 4 1   
(5) T. Bellucci3 6 6   
(1) D. Goffin67 6 77   
(6) J. Sousa79 4 61   
 
WTA Scoreboard
Friday, Jul. 31
Brasil Tennis Cup (WTA)
Semifinals
(4) T. Pereira6 7    
A. Sevastova3 5    
(3) A. Beck710 4 6   
(5) B. Mattek-San68 6 3   
 
Baku Cup (WTA)
Quarterfinals
(2) K. Knapp6 77    
A. Panova2 64    
M. Gasparyan6 6    
E. Rodina3 2    
D. Vekic3 2    
P. Tig6 6    
(1) A. Pavlyuchen6 6    
K. Flipkens1 3