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Dynamic Duke offense ready for Yellow Jackets

Off to the second-best start in school history, the women's basketball team has looked near invincible as of late.

Coming off an impressive rout of No. 6 Maryland, 86-68, Sunday, the second-ranked Blue Devils (14-0, 3-0 in the ACC) will continue their road journey as they travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech (11-3, 0-2) tonight at 7 p.m.

Duke, the nation's top-scoring team, has won by an average of nearly 43 points this season, including an average margin of more than 27 points against its first three ACC opponents.

Most impressive about its current winning streak is the manner in which Duke has been winning. Six different Blue Devils have led the team in scoring this season, and five different players are averaging double-digit scoring.

"When you look at their roster they can go nine or 10 players deep," Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said. "With as many players as they can play, they're really fresh."

Sunday's game was a prime example of how dangerous the Blue Devils' attack can be. With Alison Bales and Mistie Williams in foul trouble early and Monique Currie struggling with her shot, sophomore Chante Black provided a lift off the bench in the best offensive performance of her career. Lindsey Harding also matched her career high with 19 points.

"We still have some areas of our game to improve upon, but each game helps us prepare for the next," sophomore center Black said after Sunday's contest. "This game definitely boosted my confidence for the next game."

With a combination of strong post players and long-range shooters, the Blue Devils have shot 50 percent or better in every game except two, and opposing teams have been unable to find ways to combat Duke's multitude of weapons.

At the same time, the Blue Devils have clamped down on their opponents and held them to less than 32 percent shooting, which spells trouble for the Yellow Jackets in tonight's game.

After starting the season 11-1, Georgia Tech has dropped two in a row to open league play and has struggled recently from the field. The Yellow Jackets have shot less than 40 percent in each of their past three games.

While the Terps managed to make half of their field goal attempts Sunday, Duke forced them into 24 turnovers and trapped as well as it had all season, Goestenkors said.

"Their aggressiveness on defense-they get into you really hard, they make passes a lot harder," Terrapin guard Shay Doron said of the Blue Devils. "They seem a little easier, but they make them a lot harder than they really are."

As Duke approaches the program's best start-a 20-0 mark during the 2002-2003 season-the Blue Devils are making a strong case as the best team in the country, a debate that may be settled when top-ranked Tennessee visits Cameron Indoor Stadium Jan. 23.

Having lost to both of the nation's top two squads this season, Frese was quick to praise the Blue Devils and hint that despite their No. 2 ranking, they might be the nation's most complete team.

"I just think that Duke's got a lot more depth right now," Frese said. "When they're clicking on all cylinders like that, they defend, they score, they don't turn the ball over a lot. They really just play a complete game."


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