Thomases help No. 6 Duke beat Virginia Tech 69-38Jan 22, 2010 - 2:53 AM DURHAM, N.C.(AP) -- Duke went to the locker room with its lowest first-half point total of the season, but coach Joanne P. McCallie was happy.
The Blue Devils gave her even more reasons to smile in the second half.
Krystal Thomas scored 13 of her 17 points after halftime and No. 6 Duke found its shooting touch on the way to a 69-38 win over Virginia Tech on Thursday night.
"I was really proud of the team at halftime," said McCallie, whose team led 22-15 at the break. "We had defended and held a very good team to 15 points. Sometimes the ball doesn't go in a little bit, and that's OK as long as you're defending.
"That was the most awesome defense in terms of holding a team that's so powerful in transition. I was pleased."
Jasmine Thomas added 14 points to help the Blue Devils (16-3, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) defeat the Hokies for the 12th consecutive time. Joy Cheek scored 10 points for Duke, which opened league play with four consecutive wins for the eighth time in the last nine years.
Brittany Gordon scored 14 points to lead Virginia Tech (11-7, 1-3), which shot a season-low 25.5 percent from the field and committed a season-high 26 turnovers. The Hokies' point total was their lowest ever in an ACC game.
Duke came up with 19 steals, leading to a 28-4 advantage in points off turnovers.
"In the second half, they went on their run with their press forcing us into turnovers," Virginia Tech coach Beth Dunkenberger said. "That rattled us, and then we threw a lot of things out the window in terms of what makes us good. So it went from a 10-point game to a 30-point game, and that's where I'm frustrated."
The Blue Devils had been feeling some frustration of their own. They bounced back from an 81-48 loss to No. 1 Connecticut on Monday, a defeat that ended their 23-game home winning streak.
"We wanted to take it out on our next opponent because we were obviously upset by how we performed," Cheek said.
Duke played with that urgency from the start, scoring the game's first six points. But the Blue Devils quit making shots, missing no fewer than 10 layups in the first half as the Hokies cut the lead to 16-15 with three minutes remaining in the period.
Duke responded with a 20-2 run spanning the final three minutes of the first half and the first three minutes of the second to take control of the game.
The Blue Devils, who scored on seven of their first eight possessions after halftime, shot 60 percent from the floor in the second half after shooting just 26 percent in the first half.
"We just kept shooting," Krystal Thomas said. "We were getting great looks. They were in the paint, and those are very easy shots, so we kept attacking. We never stopped just because we missed a few shots in the first half."
- NCAA WOMENS BB FINAL
1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
VIRGINIA TECH 15 23 38
DUKE (6) 22 47 69 FINAL
HIGH SCORERS: VIRGINIA TECH - BRITTANY GORDON 14, UTAHYA DRYE 8,
SHANEL HARRISON 6
DUKE - KRYSTAL THOMAS 17, JASMINE THOMAS 14,
JOY CHEEK 10
HIGH REBOUND: VIRGINIA TECH - BRITTANY GORDON 8, UTAHYA DRYE 5,
ABBY REDICK 5
DUKE - KRYSTAL THOMAS 6, THREE PLAYER
Jan 21 8:49 PM
- NCAA WOMENS BB
VIRGINIA TECH 15
DUKE (6) 22 HALFTIME
Jan 21 7:47 PM
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