No. 2 Duke women beat No. 17 Oklahoma 94-85By MURRAY EVANS, Associated Press Sunday, Dec 8, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. (AP)—When the men’s coach at your school is pushing 1,000 career wins, 500 wins might seem like a small accomplishment, but Duke women’s coach Joanne P. McCallie said she eventually will take time to appreciate it.
Right now, though, she’s focused on guiding the Blue Devils through a brutal December schedule and they took another step toward that goal on Sunday.
Tricia Liston scored a season-high 23 points and No. 2 Duke gave McCallie her 500th victory, beating No. 17 Oklahoma 94-85.
Of course, her men’s counterpart at Duke, Mike Krzyzewski, has 964 career wins, which McCallie uses to put her achievement into perspective.
“People talk about 1,000 wins a lot at Duke and it makes you feel very humble,” she said. “I don’t know what to say, but what I will say is that I’ve had some great, great players and great staff while I’ve been here. It’s been great people to work with and great players to coach. It takes everybody.”
Alexis Jones added 20 points and six assists and Haley Peters scored 18 points for Duke, which is 10-0 for the third time in the last four seasons and the seventh time in the program’s history.
Before the end of the month, the Blue Devils - who are unbeaten in three games this season against ranked foes - will face No. 1 Connecticut and No. 5 Kentucky, sandwiched around a game against Albany. The Blue Devils opened the month with a win over No. 18 Purdue and now a road win over Oklahoma (6-3).
“It kind of lined up nicely, but we like to have it lined up, because of the experience of our team,” McCallie said. “When we get this thing really together, we’re going to be really good. When we get thing a little bit more cohesive, a little bit sharper, we’ll hit another level and that will be fun.”
Aaryn Ellenberg scored a season-high 28 points and Morgan Hook added a season-high 24 points for Oklahoma (6-3), which lost to a top-five team for the second time this season. The Sooners fell in overtime to No. 5 Louisville on Nov. 17.
Liston made only one 3-pointer in Duke’s previous two games - wins against Kansas and No. 16 Purdue - but had three before halftime and finished the game 5 of 10 from behind the arc, helping her team finish 9 of 21 (42.9 percent).
The game was the first between Duke and Oklahoma since the 2002 national semifinals, which Oklahoma won before falling to Connecticut in the title game. Duke was the highest-ranked nonconference foe for the Sooners since No. 1 Connecticut on Feb. 15, 2010.
Duke, the nation’s fourth-best 3-point shooting team at 43.6 percent, didn’t hit a 3-pointer during the first 12 minutes of Sunday’s game, allowing the Sooners to hang close. After a basket by Hook with 9:40 left in the half, the Sooners trailed only 18-17.
The Blue Devils then went on a 14-2 run, fueled by a pair of 3-pointers by Liston and another by Chloe Wells. Wells’ basket put Duke ahead 32-19.
“I think we were really focused on defense, especially transition defense, and we were matching up with the shooters a lot better than we were in the second half,” Liston said. “We were making them work for all of their first-half-points and I think that kind of frustrated them a little bit.”
Oklahoma, which committed 15 first-half turnovers and 21 in the game, came no closer than seven points the rest of the way. The Blue Devils had an 11-0 spurt just before halftime to extend their lead to 46-27.
“That little spell in the first half, where we turned it over and kicked it out of bounds and threw it out of bounds and threw it to them, was really the difference in the game,” Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said.
Gray finished with 17 points, five assists and five steals for Duke while Sharane Campbell added 16 points and Nicole Griffin scored 15 for Oklahoma.
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