Thomas leads No. 6 Duke over Auburn 75-62
AUBURN, Ala. (AP)—Jasmine Thomas scored 16 points to lead No. 6 Duke to a 75-62 win over Auburn on Thursday night at the brand new Auburn Arena.
Four other players—Chelsea Gray, Krystal Thomas, Karima Christmas and Haley Peters—scored in double figures for the Blue Devils (3-0), who shot 50 percent from the field to give head coach Joanne P. McCallie her 401st career win.
“Any time you can shoot 50 percent from the floor, that shows some pretty good decision making,” McCallie said.
Thomas, a national player of the year candidate, also led Duke in assists with five—just one day after McCallie said her star guard “tweaked” her ankle.
“Just in practice, right before we’re about to leave to come here,” Thomas said. “Just came down on a foot and turned it the same way I always turn it. This has happened before. It’s not a big deal. It’s just a little sore, but I think it’ll be fine.”
Auburn point guard Morgan Toles, who was charged with guarding Thomas most of the game, couldn’t tell anything was wrong with the Duke senior.
“If anything, she looked faster than ever,” Toles said. “She’s probably one of the fastest guards I’ve ever guarded.”
It was Auburn’s second consecutive loss to a Top 25 team after falling to No. 16 Florida State 67-61 on Monday.
Alli Smalley and Morgan Toles led the Tigers (1-2) with 12 points apiece.
The teams traded the lead seven times in the first half before Duke used a full-court press to run off a 13-4 run and take a 10-point lead into the break.
“It’s like they called a timeout, and all of a sudden they came out a different team,” Auburn head coach Nell Fortner said. “Their pressure, they just ramped it up big time and it caused us to be hesitant with the ball and they capitalized on it.”
Duke extended its lead to as many as 16 in the second half, holding Auburn to limited looks at the basket, as the Tigers finished 20-of-50 from the floor.
The Tigers were able to cut the deficit to seven with 51 seconds to play after Smalley made two free throws, but the rally was short lived with the Blue Devils beating Auburn’s press and scoring the final six points of the game.
Duke outscored Auburn 48-10 in the paint.
Chelsea Gray (13), Krystal Thomas (11), Karima Christmas (10) and Haley Peters (10) were the other Blue Devils to score in double figures.
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