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Seniors shine in home finale

Coming off a thrilling double-overtime win in Miami over the weekend, the top-ranked Blue Devils routed Virginia Tech, 93-51, on Senior Night Wednesday at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Playing in their final game at home, seniors Monique Currie and Mistie Williams each totalled 14 points against the Hokies, as Duke (25-1, 12-1 in the ACC) outscored Virginia Tech (18-8, 5-8) by 21 in each half and cruised to an easy victory. The Blue Devils' third senior, Jessica Foley, added 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting.

"I'm really happy for the seniors," head coach Gail Goestenkors said. "This is a nice way for them to go out, playing in Cameron. They set the tone early, had really good energy and set the tone with our defense."

Point guards Lindsey Harding and Abby Waner each dished out five assists for Duke and only turned the ball over a combined three times as Duke erupted to a 29-9 lead and never relented.

Duke finished the night shooting 61 percent from the field-its best performance in ACC play-and had a total of five players score in double figures and 10 players tally more than five.

"This team has always played well together and they've always been very unselfish," Goestenkors said. "It starts with the senior leadership. We've got three seniors here who are very talented and they show the way things are going to be done by being unselfish. All three could probably take 20 shots a game, but they don't. They make sure that they get everybody involved and that made us a really good team."

Virginia Tech scrambled desperately on defense, trying to stop Duke using multiple defensive sets.

The Blue Devils opened the game scoring 10 of their first 12 points in the paint against the Hokies' man-to-man defense. And when Virginia Tech switched to a zone later in the half, Duke rained threes on them. Duke was also unfazed by Virginia Tech's press, running the court for 18 fast break points on the night.

"I think that we did a good job against most of their defenses," Goestenkors said. "We wanted to establish our inside game early and I think that we did that. They began to double down a little bit and played a little zone. So we kicked it back out, skipped the ball, and we were hitting our threes. We had a nice combination."

With the Blue Devils leading 23-9 in the first half, sophomore guard Laura Kurz scored six consecutive points for the Blue Devils, four of which came in transition as Duke expanded its lead to 20 with 8:13 left to play before halftime.

The Blue Devils came out of the locker room and struggled to regain their momentum from the first half as the Hokies chipped the lead down to 15 with 16 minutes still to play.

Duke, however, took back control of the game and outscored Virginia Tech 49-22 the rest of the way.

"For the first five minutes of the second half we were a little bit flat, but then I thought we did a good job to pick it back up again," Goestenkors said. "Overall, I was really pleased and I thought it was a great team effort. Everybody coming off the bench played really well for us and that's important."

Currie, Foley and Williams were honored by coaches, teammates, family and fans in a pregame ceremony and each spoke briefly to the crowd of 5,957 after the game.

Williams' father, legendary recording artist Chubby Checker, also sang the National Anthem before tip-off.

"It was nice, I haven't actually heard my Dad sing for a while," Williams said. "It's actually nice for him to sing, and then for us to win, because last time he was here we lost."


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