LIVE BLOG: Duke 83, Virginia 65 FINAL

Postgame: All three seniors addressed the crowd from center court after the game.  They each thanked the fans for their support, and Cheek promised not to cry. Coach P was then interviewed and spoke briefly about all three. She also thanked the Cameron Crazies as well.

Just wanted to clarify this has been Alex Krinsky writing tonight, although you can still direct all complaints or problems to Sabreena Merchant.

Duke 83 Virginia 65   Final

Duke is the ACC regular season champions. The Blue Devils ran away in the second half and never looked back. Although Wright finished with a tremendous performance, the Duke defense was aggressive all night, forcing bad shots and turnovers. In the second half, Vernerey was instrumental down low, finishing with 17 points. Thomas found her stroke in the second half as well, ending the night with 21 points. Cheek finished the game with 13 points and left the court to thunderous applause. The crowd burst into a "Thank you seniors!" chant soon after.

Duke 66 Virginia 50   7:55 2nd half

Fortunately for the Cavaliers, Wright made a full recovery and reentered the game. Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, Duke freshman center Allison Vernerey has been a beast in the paint during the second half. She's accumulated 16 points, all from the post, and is the main reason the Blue Devils are pulling away from the Cavaliers.

Duke 54 Virginia 42   11:55 2nd half

Wright drove through the lane but was fouled in the paint and went down hard. Her screams were audible and she was writhing on the floor as the trainers came out. She was helped off the court to applause. She's currently being treated next to her bench.

Duke 46 Virginia 36   15:53 2nd half

Coach P must have given her team some of that Bugs Bunny water (See Space Jam) at halftime, because they came out ready to play. Cheek and Thomas both hit threes, while Vernerey scored four in the paint, giving them a ten point lead. The deficit would have been more dramatic if Wright hadn't been fouled and made two free throws.

Duke 34 Virginia 32 at the half

Both teams have been playing very solid defense tonight, resulting in tons of turnovers, shot clock violations, and ugly shots. After Virginia initially took the lead, Duke switched to a full court press and slowed down their offense, but the dangerous Wright has quietly accumulated 15 points already. On offense, The Blue Devils are having trouble getting the ball to the post, but are taking advantage of open jump shots. All of the Duke seniors have been contributing to the offense, and Cheek is leading the team in scoring with 8 points.

Duke 30 Virginia 24   3:36 1st half

The Blue Devils have taken a decent lead after back-to-back threes by Cheek and Jasmine Thomas. Thomas has been quiet so far tonight, but finally was able to hit a shot from the perimeter. Mitchell added a nice steal and layup to put the Blue Devils up by 6.  The full court press is definitely disrupting the Cavalier offense.

Duke 15 Virginia 15   7:59 1st half

Duke has done an excellent job containing Wright, but Virginia's Chelsea Shine has stepped up with 8 points already. Virginia is scoring quickly on the offensive side of the ball, however, sloppy turnovers have allowed the Blue Devils to creep back into the game. Seniors Mitchell and Jackson have both added four for the Blue Devils.

Duke 5   Virginia  8  15:31 1st half

Senior Joy Cheek exploded out of the gates, scoring a lay-up immediately after the tip. She's followed up with three more points and a steal. Apart from Cheek, the Blue Devil offense is having trouble finding their rhythm. Virginia's Monica Wright has made her presence felt, stealing the ball off a bad pass and scoring a break-away layup.

Pregame : Tonight is senior night for the Blue Devils, and  seniors Joy Cheek, Bridgette Mitchell, and Keturah Jackson were quickly honored before the game with their families. More senior ceremonies will take place after the game. It should be a good match-up tonight as the Blue Devils are looking to clinch an ACC regular-season championship, but Virginia star Monica Wright, averaging 22.7 ppg, stands in the way.


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