Blue Devils pummel Wake in rematch

Haley Peters posted her first career double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds against Wake Forest.
Haley Peters posted her first career double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds against Wake Forest.

Wake Forest caught Duke napping in the first few minutes of the game, but the Blue Devils quickly woke up and cruised to a 75-43 victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The No. 5 Blue Devils (18-3, 9-0 in the ACC) overcame a sloppy performance in the early going to stay the only undefeated team this season in ACC play, rebounding from their tough loss to No. 3 Connecticut Monday night.

Duke was led by Haley Peters, who recorded her first career double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 8-for-13 from the floor.

“Any time that you play like we did [against the Huskies] offensively, I just wanted to be focused on both ends of the floor,” Peters said.

Elizabeth Williams added 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting along with nine rebounds. She has proved to be trouble for the Demon Deacons (12-10, 2-7) this year, recording 18 points, 16 rebounds and 12 blocks against Wake Forest in the teams’ first meeting on Jan. 6. Chelsea Douglas led the way for the Demon Deacons with 11 points.

The Blue Devils took some time to get going, as sloppy offensive execution and turnovers kept the game close in the opening minutes. Duke was able to catch fire near the end of the first half and take a 36-19 lead into halftime despite committing 15 first-half turnovers. Wake Forest had even more trouble keeping the ball, though, and went into halftime with as many turnovers as points. Peters paced the Duke offense in the opening period, scoring ten of her game-high 18 points in the opening frame.

Physical play dominated throughout, with hard fouls coming from both sides. Not only did the Blue Devils seem unphased by the physicality of the game, but it inspired their play near the end of the first half. With Duke struggling early, Chelsea Gray was hit with a hard foul. She responded by crashing the boards on both ends en route to seven rebounds to go along with her 12 points.

“When you’re in conference play, it’s going to be physical,” Peters said.

Although they held a 17-point advantage, the Blue Devils were far from satisfied with their play at the half.

“At halftime we knew that Wake Forest had way too many offensive rebounds so we definitely made an effort to box out. We really just tried to go hard and go for every rebound,” Williams said.

Duke never looked back in the second half, continuing to knock down shots and force turnovers as it extended its lead. By the game’s end, four Blue Devils had reached double-digit scoring. They controlled the inside, outrebounding the Demon Deacons by a 54-39 margin, including 18 boards on the offensive end. Sophomore Richa Jackson also registered her first career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds for Duke, also tying her career-high with five steals.

But defense was the story of this game for the Blue Devils. They forced Wake Forest to turn the ball over 27 times, leading to 25 Duke points. Both teams swarmed defensively, playing pressure defense and forcing many of the game’s early turnovers, but Duke stymied the Wake Forest offense from start to finish. The Demon Deacons only shot 25 percent from the field, including 5-of-23 from beyond the arc.

“The sport is really aptly named. Basket. Ball. And we just didn’t do that enough,” Petersen said.

Duke extended its lead to 35 points with just under three minutes to play, coasting to an easy victory. The win marked the Blue Devils’ 26th straight home win against ACC opponents and 37th consecutive victory over Wake Forest.

Shay Selby made her return to the starting lineup for the Blue Devils, adding six points in 23 minutes. It was her first start since returning from her suspension.

“She’s worked very hard. She’s endured through time. I think that her defensive role, her rebounding role and her ability to play a little point are her roles for this team. I’m really pleased with her progress and her focus,” head coach Joanne P. McCallie said.

With the win, Duke avoided losing back-to-back games for the first time since Feb. 2008.


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