by Rob Clough
Duke defeated eighth-ranked (and my least favorite program in women's
college basketball) Penn State 88-87. I was not able to listen
to the game, so I'll just pass along the boxscore and a couple of game
descriptions. A few observations, however:
Duke's frosh accounted for 53 of Duke's 88 points. Not surprisingly,
Beard led the way with 21 points. Tillis had 16 with 2 threes. Craig
had 12 and 5 boards. Beard had an astonishing 6 steals against some
top-notch competition. Most surprisingly, Crystal White had 4. More on
Duke cut down their turnovers to a manageable 14, and forced 19 from
Penn State, including 6 from highly-touted frosh PG Ashley Luke.
The Devils made things difficult on themselves by missing 12 of 34
free throws. Rometra Craig missed 2 after Penn State had come within 1
point with six seconds left, but got her own rebound and ran the clock
Georgia Schweitzer played with a separated shoulder. In fact, she led
the team with 38 minutes. She was only 6-18 from the floor, but had 13
points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 6 turnovers. Imagine what she could do
with two good shoulders.
Three Duke players fouled out: Tillis, Matyasovsky and Parent. Beard
played a long time with her fourth foul and was never disqualified.
Crystal White stepped in and had 2 blocks, 4 points and 2 boards in 8
minutes. Her appearance was surprising because she had been the last player
coming in off the bench and had looked rather awkward up until this point,
albeit with impressive strength and aggressiveness.
Duke held Penn State to 41% shooting but gave up 9-15 shooting from
three. Perimeter defense has been a problem thus far this year.
It should be noted that Sheana Mosch had a great game with 14 points,
5 boards 3 assists and no turnovers. With all the hoopla over the frosh
and Naismith candidate Schweitzer, Sheana is quietly becoming a
dependable, consistent star. Her ability to slash and attack the boards
as a guard gives Duke a key weapon.
Over 9000 people attended this game as the Lady Lions hoisted their
Final Four banner.
Duke's next game is on Wednesday, against #22 Boston College. The
Devils return home for their own Duke Classic on Saturday and Sunday.