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Devils Win Duke Classic - Part Two

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GoDuke recap |

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Duke 71, Toledo 41. November 26, 2000. Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Duke beat a solid Toledo club by throwing an impassable defensive net
around the Rockets that constricted their offense so totally that they
seemed barely able to think. The Rockets beat Radford in the first game
of the Classic by 40 points, and Radford turned around and defeated Duke's
first-round foe, Duquesne. Toledo is a solid team in a good league (the
ever-underrated Mid-American Conference) that has been known to pull some
upsets. Coach G was genuinely worried that they could spring an upset,
and I thought that they could at least make it interesting by taking
advantage of Duke mistakes.

As it turns out, there weren't many mistakes to take advantage of. Duke
committed only 5 first-half turnovers while forcing 16 Toledo miscues.
Toledo only hit 3 field goals in the entire half and managed just 13 points.
That's right--more turnovers than points. Meanwhile, as Duke's lead grew
to 15 in the first half, Coach G went to her bench in the hopes that they'd
keep up the intensity and wear Toledo down. This stratagem didn't work
all that well against Duquesne, but was quite successful here as the deep
reserves actually increased Duke's lead at the half from 18 to 23.

Looking at some individual numbers, Alana Beard bounced back from foul
trouble on Saturday to put up a game-high 13 points, 6 assists, 5 steals,
3 rebounds and (yay!) no turnovers. Her points came on 6-9 shooting; just
another day at the office, really. Georgia Schweitzer had 9 points (all
on threes), 6 boards and 5 assists. Rochelle Parent, Iciss Tillis, Sheana
Mosch and (surprise!) Olga Gvozdenovic had 8 points apiece, and Parent
led Duke with 8 rebounds.

Tillis started things off with a short jumper, and then Parent hit an
even closer jumper to keep Duke on top. That was the start of an 8-0 run
over about three minutes, with Beard scoring 4 quick ones with a drive
and a steal that led to a runout. Toledo countered with a long three,
but Duke responded with a 10-0 run to take control of the game. The lead
ballooned thanks to back to back threes from Tillis and Schweitzer, both
on West feeds, and the run climaxed with a nice Craig drive. West also
had a big rebound after the first three, where she grabbed the carom and
then directly fed Georgia for the long-range shot. Duke was up 20-5
at that point, but Toledo struck back with a three of their own.

Coach G started to bring in some of the deeper reserves at this point,
and they did well. Matyasovsky hit 2 free throws while West fed Parent on
a drive. Starter Beard had yet another steal that led to a basket, quite
clearly one of her signature plays. Toledo hit another three with about
five minutes left in the half, but Duke had an 8-0 to turn the game into
a complete laugher. Beard had another theft and this time fed West for the
basket, while Parent was displaying her rarely-needed scoring touching by
scoring on a nifty spin and hitting a couple of foul shots. Most surprisingly,
Olga hit a long jumper on a Schweitzer feed, and unlike Saturday, she was
very smooth in doing so. She then stole the ball, but Duke couldn't capitalize
with three shots at the end of the half, despite getting 3 offensive rebounds.
Just then, Krapohl stole the ball and Duke played for the last shot. Vicki
found Olga, who made the basket and got fouled. Duke was playing sort of
an odd line-up at that time: Krapohl, Gingrich, Matyasovsky, Gvozdenovic
and White. That's 2 point guards, a center and 2 big forwards. Olga used
a screen to roll towards the basket, where Vicki delivered it perfectly.

Duquesne's second half push was fresh in Duke's mind, and so they meted
out an 11-2 run that had Beard doing everything. She found Schweitzer for
a three, shot a half-hook that rolled in, threw a long bomb to speedy Mosch
for a layup, and drove in for one herself. Matyasovsky kept up the pressure
by forcing a turnover and running it back for a layup. After Toledo scored
again after 8 straight Duke points, Beard ripped down a rebound and just
tore off the other way, finding Mosch in a perfect 3-on-2 break.

Mosch continued her positive play by finding West for a three and hitting
a 15' baseline jumper on a Craig pass after she had driven all the way to
the hoop. White got into the act by rolling towards the basket on two
straight possessions, finishing with great ease. Toledo was starting to
score a bit more as Duke relaxed their defense a bit, but just barely broke
the 40 point mark. Duke led by as much as 34 in the second half and settled
for the 30 point win as they went nearly five minutes late in the game witout
scoring. The Devils finished with a flourish on a nice pass from Gingrich
to Gvozdenovic.

Georgia Schweitzer was named the MVP of the tournament for the second
consecutive year for her all-around play. Beard and Craig also made it to
the all-tournament team, as did Courtney Risinger of Toledo, who had scored
36 against Radford but only 10 against Duke. In attendance were Duke's
all-time assist leader, Hilary Howard, and one of Duke's top ten scorers,
Payton Black (looking resplendent in a cowboy hat). Duke did a fine job
at minimizing their mistakes and relied on their defense for the win. They
also ended a very long week by winning their ninth consecutive Duke Classic
title and staying at #3 in the country. A good show, all around.

** Positives:

1. Pressure defense. Absolutely insane, pressing and trapping Toledo to
death. Craig and Beard are nearly interchangeable as the focal point of
Duke's pressure, and this has allowed Schweitzer to cheat and trap when
the ball goes to the sidelines. The size of Duke's guards overwhelmed
the Rockets.

2. Fast break. Devastating, as always. Beard and Mosch are so incredibly
quick that it's tough to stop Duke when they break.

3. Post offense. Surprisingly effective, with White leading the way. Duke's
obviously been working hard on this.

** Negatives:

1. Rebounding. This kept the game from turning into a 60 point rout rather
than a 30 point rout. Toledo boxed out well in the second half and this
helped them keep the second half from getting ridiculous.

2. Free-throw shooting. It's been consistently mediocre, even from good
players. Once again, this was one of Duke's strengths last year and I'd
hate to see it become a weakness.


** Tillis: Great first half, very quiet second half. She actually scored
all of her points in the first eight minutes of the game, but once again
had trouble finishing around the basket. She had a few early rebounds and
a sensational block that she controlled. Iciss didn't play much down the
stretch, for obvious reasons, but it was odd to see her so quiet in the first
part of the second half.

** Parent: Another superb effort from Ro, cut short by fouling out on a
charge. Early in the game, she single-handedly thwarted Toledo by
controlling the defensive boards and getting in the passing lanes. She
was also scoring quite a bit, with 8 points at the half already eclipsing
her usual 6 points a game. But the fouls started mounting in the second
half, and she was gone after she wildly leaped into the lane. Still, she
was a quiet key to Duke's early dominance by keeping Toledo off the boards.

** Beard: The terror of the passing lanes wreaked her usual havoc. She's
going to leave a lot of players shaking their heads. And oh yeah, she was
named ACC Freshman of the Week for a second consecutive week.

About the only thing she didn't do was hit her jumpers, but she otherwise
played a near-flawless game. She scored evenly over the first and second
halves, as Duke scored 6 points as a direct result of her steals.

** Mosch: After a subpar first half and the mediocre showings against Duquesne
and Boston College, I pencilled "slump?" next to her halftime stats.
Thankfully, she dispelled that notion with a fantastic second half. She did
what she does best, which is run the floor. After getting blocked on three
separate occasions in the first half, thanks to some weak shots, she used
her speed to get behind the defense on a couple of drives, hit a baseline
jumper, and scored in transition. This seemed to fire up the rest of her game,
because her passes were crisper. A good way to end for one of Duke's best

** Schweitzer: Still struggling a bit at point guard, though a couple of
her turnovers were due to other players' bad passes. She did throw a
couple of passes right into the teeth of the defense, though. On the
other hand, she had 5 assists and in general did a good job in running the
show. She found Beard on a drive, Tillis for a short jumper, Olga for another
jumper, White rolling to the basket, and Beard on another drive. More
interestingly, she seemed to work harder on the boards when Parent fouled
out, getting 4 of her 6 rebounds in the second half. And of course, it
was great to see her scorch the nets with her shooting.

** Craig: Rometra is almost a sixth starter at this point, and is capable
of playing at either guard spot. This surprises me, because what I had
seen and read of her earlier told me that she would be better suited for
wing, primarily as a slasher. Instead, she's really developed her guard
skills and can shoot the short jumper, the three and break defenses down
with dribble penetration. She's not as good a passer as Beard, Schweitzer,
or Mosch, but she's capable of it. She actually didn't play as well today
as she had recently, but she came on strong in the second half with three
excellent assists (the one to Mosch being especially timely) and a nice drive.
She also had a drive in the first half but threw the ball away a couple of
times. After several strong games in a row, it wasn't surprising to see
a few freshman errors. Rometra didn't pressure the ball as well in this
game as she had in the past, either, but she still made quite a few good

** Matyasovsky: Michele is the other bench player guaranteed of playing time
in every game. She didn't have a big game today, other than a spectacular
steal and layup and a great blocked shot. She only got credited for 2 steals
but I thought she tipped a couple of more passes than that.

** West: Missy has also been averaging double-digit minutes and is the team's
fifth leading scorer overall, yet there have been certain games (like Penn
State) where the other team's overall quickness limits her effectiveness.
She hasn't let that stop her otherwise, though, as she's also been putting
up solid assist (2.1 per game) and rebound (3.1 rpg) numbers. She only
hit 1 three against Toledo, but made up for that by passing so well.
Relocating the ball to Iciss and Georgia for threes helped crack the game
wide open. I was also very impressed by her rebounding, because she got
the boards by wading into the paint and absorbing some contact.

** Brown: After a standout game yesterday, Nedra looked clumsy and tentative
on Sunday. She did have a nice steal, but fouled way too often and let
too many passes slip through her fingers.

** Krapohl: Vicki didn't score, but she had a really nice pass to Olga for
a big bucket towards the end of the first half, as well as a steal after
she had turned the ball over. Even though she still looks overwhelmed out
there, I can see a fighting attitude in her eyes.

** White: The only major downside to Crystal's game was the 0-2 from the
foul line, and letting a rebound out of her grasp. Otherwise, she continues
to develop into a true force in the post, both defensively (3 blocks) and
offensively (2-3 on some nice moves). After appearing in six games and playing
but eight minutes a game, she still is tied for the team lead in blocks
with 8. She looked authoritative in the post, using every inch of her 6-5
frame to roll towards the basket for easy scores. While she has no face-up
game, it's nice to have a solid back-to-the-basket player in Crystal, one
who can really be an intimidator on defense.

** Gvozdenovic: A breakout game for Olga. She hit a long jumper, scored
on a cut, in transition on a pass from Gingrich, and nailed 2 free throws.
She also found Schweitzer for a three. She also played the passing lanes
well, getting a steal.

** Gingrich: Krista appeared at the end of the first half and grabbed a
couple of rebounds. She had a really nice pass to Olga and a long bomb
to Mosch. More than anything, she looks very comfortable and confident
out there. Like I noted in Saturday's game, Krista is becoming a leader.

** Gebisa: The team was trying to feed her passes, but she couldn't quite
convert. She was pushed aside a couple of times for rebounds, but did hold
on to one. She also blocked a shot (she just barely altered its trajectory,
which was more effective than a traditional "in your face" jam because it
was easier for her teammates to recover it) and got a steal.

Cameron Craziness: 3200 fans were there, which isn't bad but is the smallest
showing this year. There were lots of signs and everyone was pretty
enthusiastic. If the numbers balloon up to 5000 for the big games, the
crowd could make a big difference.

Next Game: Wednesday, November 29th vs UNC-Charlotte in Cameron. This would
be a great time for a nice student showing, since the team doesn't return
to Cameron for about a month. The 49'ers are 1-3, having lost to UNC-G (a
good program) and UMASS, among others. They will probably have trouble
with Duke's pressure. Game time is at 7:00pm.