clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Women Take Out Iowa State

by Rob Clough

Duke 81, Iowa State 68. December 30, 2000. Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The second biggest crowd to see a women's basketball game in Cameron saw
a young team come together in the second half and play hard-nosed defense
and very efficient offense. While Duke has won a number of tough games
against highly-ranked opponents this year (the victory over ISU marks the
third victory over a top-ten team and fourth overall against the top 25),
the overall team effort has been spotty at times. This was a sign of a team
that was struggling with chemistry, trying to blend in as many players
as possible while still playing with smarts and intensity. Duke's sheer
talent level and flashes of defensive brilliance won them a number of games,
but a wake-up call at Clemson revealed that smart and physical teams could
force Duke into some bad decisions.

Iowa State is a team that had not lost a regular-season game since last
February, although their early-season schedule was pretty soft. They did
win the Big 12 last year and returned star player Angie Welle, a 6-4 center
who was averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds a game coming in to this contest.
After being handled by Clemson's Erin Batth, it was imperative that Duke made
sure to control her scoring. But the Cyclones are an incredibly balanced
bunch, with four players averaging in double figures and 5 players capable of
hitting the three--with two of them shooting .500 or better. They also
were outrebounding their opponents by 15 boards a game. So the Cyclones had
advantages in Duke's biggest weaknesses: post play and rebounding. But
another stat was to prove more clairvoyant in this game: the Cyclones averaged
more turnovers than their opponents, and only forced about 7 steals a game.
They are a patient, precise group that relies on its offensive balance and
size to win games, but wasn't likely to throw on a press or try to disrupt
an offense by overplaying the passing lanes.

The first few minutes provided some very evenly-matched basketball, as
Georgia Schweitzer was looking to get her teammates involved early on. In
fact, she only had four attempts in the first half, and two of them were on
rebound baskets. Iowa State played in a 2-3 zone for most of the game, and
they were encouraging Duke to shoot as quickly as possible. They were
playing Beard for the drive as much as they could, encouraging her to shoot
her erratic jumper. Early on, this tactic backfired on them, as Schweitzer
found Iciss Tillis for a baseline jumper and Beard for a three. ISU countered
with an early three (for their only lead of the game) and a three point play
on a drive. The foul was on Parent, which was a cause for some concern,
because her foul tendencies have hurt her in the past, and she was desperately
needed in order to guard Welle. Duke led 9-8 four minutes into the game.

That's when Alana Beard went beserk, scoring on a drive, taking a pass
from Mosch for a 17' jumper, dishing to Tillis for three, and then driving
and hitting a tough running one-hander. This all added up to a 9-0 run,
fueled in part by 3 ISU turnovers. One of them was Schweitzer stepping in front
of Welle to take a charge, sending her to the bench. Welle proved to be a
non-factor in the first half, which turned out to be important since Duke
didn't shoot well enough to pull away from ISU.

Duke kept the pressure up offensively, with Tillis driving and hitting a
running one-hander and Schweitzer finding Sheana Mosch and Tillis for threes.
At this point, Tillis had 10 points, Beard 11 and Mosch 5, and Georgia was
doing a great job finding them open. Duke led 26-13 with about eleven
minutes left in the half. Coach G then went to the bench, bringing in
Missy West, Rometra Craig, Michele Matyasovsky and Olga Gvozdenovic. The
plan was to get Georgia more shots and perhaps have her elevate their games
the way she did with the other starters. This did not happen, as the bench
did not play well at all on offense or defense. This started a nearly seven
minute span where Duke scored exactly 2 points--on a Schweitzer offensive
rebound. Luckily for Duke, ISU wasn't exactly setting the world on fire
either, and there was a four minute span where neither team scored. It got
so bad that Rometra Craig blew a wide-open layup after getting a beautiful
steal. The Cyclones finally did cut a 13 point lead to 28-25 after hitting
a three with 4:28 left.

Duke had been taking too many quick three-pointers, but they finally hit
the 30 point mark when Georgia found Alana for a 10' baseline jumper. After
a few misses by both teams, Alana pulled up from 10' away and hit another
jumper, putting Duke up 32-25. The resilient Cyclones countered with a three,
but Schweitzer grabbed an offensive rebound after a Gingrich miss from three
and went in for an uncontested layup. ISU cut it to 34-30, but Duke had the
ball and held it for a final possession. Gingrich drove but turned it over
trying to get it to Tillis in the post, and Lindsay Wilson of ISU drove right
through the defense, hitting a shot as the half expired.

Iowa State missed their first four shots of the second half, and Duke
capitalized with Georgia hitting a 10' jumper on a Beard pass and Georgia
finding Mosch for a baseline jumper. After a Welle basket, Beard found
Georgia for her first three of the game, putting Duke up 41-34. After
another Welle basket, Tillis drove and dished out to Parent, who hesitated
for a moment and then spotted up for a 15' jumper, nailing it. But the
Cyclones went on an 8-2 run, nailing a couple of threes in the process, to
cut the lead to 45-44. Parent drove and got fouled, hitting both free
throws. Two ISU foul shots cut the lead to 47-46 with fourteen minutes left.
Beard then rebounded a Craig miss, and then Craig got the breakout play she
had been searching for all game, a steal and layup. But ISU continued to
hang around, scoring 4 in a row. The last 3 came on a steal and pull-up three
to cut the lead to 51-50 with twelve minutes left. It would be as close
as they would come.

Matyasovsky subbed in for Tillis, and promptly made big play after big play.
She sank a jumper, found Georgia for a three after a steal, hit a turnaround
in the lane, found Parent on a cut and cut once again on a Gingrich pass.
She scored 6 points and picked up 2 assists in less than four minutes, as
Duke boosted their lead to 64-56. Her last cut sparked a game-deciding run,
as Gingrich then found Georgia for a three, and then Georgia got a steal &
layup, and was fouled. Parent then took a charge at the opposite end, and
Beard jumped into the act by twice driving on Welle and twice sinking tough

The Cyclones cut it to 73-63 with nearly four minutes left, but they would
not score again as Duke cranked up the defensive intensity another few
notches. After Iciss found Alana for a 15' jumper with three minutes left,
Alana then blocked a shot at the opposite end, and got the rebound. She
then canned a 10' jumper with one second left on the shot clock to put Duke
up 77-63 with two minutes left. Iowa State was not even bothering to foul
at this point, because that last basket crushed their spirit. Duke continued
to play hard to the end, with Tillis getting a transition bucket and
Gvozdenovic hitting a long jumper.

Duke celebrated exuberantly for a few moments, as they were able to get
some of the bad taste of the Clemson loss out of their mouths. Duke's
quickness got the better of Iowa State's deliberate style. While Beard's
27 points and ability to break down the Cyclones off the dribble were
important, it was Parent's crucial defense that really won the game for Duke.
Getting Welle in foul trouble put her off balance and made it easy to score
on her, because she backed off on driving Devils. Duke's second half
performance was among the best I've ever seen. They outscored ISU 20-8
in the paint, 14-5 on points off turnovers, and 4-0 on second chance points.
They shot an absurd 67% from the floor and outrebounded the Cyclones 18-9.
More importantly, Duke really looked like a unit out there. They went a
legitimate 8-deep in the rotation, with 6-7-8 all making important
contributions. While this was Beard's night, it should be noted that a number
of different players stepped up throughout the game when big plays were
needed, and the constant and mutual support the players gave each other
showed that this team is really coming together. But as they say, the past
is prologue and now the ACC season really gets underway. Duke has truly been
tested, but now they have to put the lessons learned into action.


1. Rebounding. The best thing about Duke's rebounding dominance in this
game was their 10-5 edge on the offensive boards. Preventing ISU from
getting easy second chances, and getting some key o-boards of their own,
proved to be the biggest factor down the stretch.

2. Ball movement. After Duke started to shoot too quickly, they settled
down and worked on attacking the ISU defense with quick cuts and sharp
drives. This precision combined with creativity helped Duke to a big
offensive outburst in the second half.

3. Post defense. Parent did an incredible job on the much bigger Welle.
Welle relied on back-to-the-basket moves and spins, so by holding her ground,
Parent was able to draw charges. As a result, Welle became much more tentative
on defense, something Duke was able to exploit.


1. Ball pressure. With just a few exceptions, Duke's traps did not work
very well and they chose to rely on some different halfcourt defensive
schemes. Iowa State's passing helped break the press fairly easily.

2. Three point shooting. Only 32% for the game as Duke was lulled into
taking some quick attempts. Schweitzer hit some enormous shots in the
second half, though.


** Tillis: A great bounce-back game for Iciss, whose numbers had been down
of late. She had a fantastic first half, scoring on a short jumper, a
runner and 2 threes. More importantly, she picked up 5 rebounds and got
a couple of steals. There are times when her total effort gets tied into
how well she's shooting; when she's hitting her shots, her entire game
improves. When she misses, she sometimes goes into a funk. This happened
a bit in the second half, but she recovered to hit an old-fashioned
turnaround jumper and grab a couple of more rebounds. She guarded Welle for
a bit and did pretty well; Tillis' perimeter skills made it difficult for her
to guard by a somewhat slow player.

** Parent: A brilliant defensive game for Ro and several important second-half
baskets as well. In addition to taking three charges (two against Welle),
Ro picked up 7 boards, tied up a ball to force an arrow change, and had a
block & steal. But her confident jumper in the lane and cut for a basket
were her most dramatic plays, and they were crucial to Duke's success. ISU
basically let her do whatever she wanted on offense since she's normally
so quiet, and her coming through when the team needed her showed just how
tough she is. Not all was perfect, however; she made some truly boneheaded
passes while trying to drive. There are times when her decision-making with
the ball is questionable, especially under pressure. But her decision-making
and toughness on defense can't be questioned; stopping Welle was her mission
and it was one well-accomplished.

** Beard: The best game of her short career: 27 points, 7 rebounds and 5
assists. It was clear that Iowa State was playing her for the drive, giving
her an open jumper whenever she felt like it. This started to hurt Duke when
Alana was putting up ugly threes, but she adjusted and started taking shorter
jumpers. She scored 11 of Duke's first 18 points on a variety of shots,
including a three, a couple of free throws, a drive, a runner and a long
two. She also broke a long scoring drought with a nice baseline jumper and
then came right back with a pull-up off the break. She didn't score much
in the first ten minutes of the second half, getting only a rebound bucket,
but she did pick up three assists. But in the last nine minutes of the
game, she scored 8 points that essentially finished the Cyclones off.
Seeing her go after Welle was incredible, but it was her basket with one tick
left on the shot clock that was truly the play of the game. It completely
demoralized Iowa State, and made the rest of the game mop-up duty. Alana
and Georgia were pulled at the very end of the game for a round of applause,
and Beard was mobbed by autograph-seeking fans after the game. And she
accomodated them all, with a big smile on her face the whole time.

** Mosch: Quietly efficient, doing most of her damage early in the game.
She hit one of her high-arching jumpers early in the game, and then sank
a rare three to give Duke a 10 point lead. She hit another jumper early
in the second half, and found Beard for the backbreaking jumper with one
second left on the shot clock late in the game. Also impressive were her
5 rebounds, including snagging a couple of offensive boards on long rebounds.
Sheana was not spectacular, but she did her job and didn't hurt the team.
ISU was taking away her specialty, the drive, so she adjusted and did other
things to help the team.

** Schweitzer: Did an excellent job of finding others early in the game,
and then taking things over when she had to in the second half. This was
one of her best floor games of the year, as she consciously was looking for
Duke's younger players early in the game to get them going. This came at
the cost of her own offense, but she unselfishly created for others and
played tough defense. She was more aggressive in the second half, scoring
on a short jumper from a Beard feed and hitting a three on another Beard
pass. But her late three on a Gingrich pass and then steal & layup are
what turned an 8 point contest into a 13 point lead and total control of
the game. It was more than just making the plays, it was the way she fired
up the crowd and her team. Georgia now looks much more comfortable as the
emotional leader of the team, a role that Lauren Rice had last year, and
is even settling in a bit better as point guard. Duke is still using a
number of players there, with Mosch, Gingrich and Beard all playing a bit
at point, but Georgia's 6:1 assist to turnover ratio in this game showed that
she's ready to put it all together. Currently, she's one three-pointer away
from tying Jen Scanlon's career record, and three points away from tying
Payton Black for sixth all-time in scoring.

** West: Played just a couple of minutes and didn't do anything of note.
I don't think Coach G was happy with the way the ISU players drove by her.

** Craig: Had a really tough first half, missing on a three, a short jumper
and an easy layup. But she continued to fight hard and played great defense
in the second half. She had a steal and layup at a crucial juncture, and
then found Matyasovsky for a jumper. While this was not her best game, she
impressed me by coolly coming back and making some plays.

** Gvozdenovic: Didn't do anything in the first half except get called for
a foul, and hit a jumper very late in the game.

** Matyasovsky: Had a pretty bad first half, missing a jumper, getting called
for a foul that led to a three point play, and turning the ball over. But
she was one of the key players in the second half, and it's to her credit that
she bounced back. She played a huge role in Duke's decisive second-half
run. It started with her nailing a 15' jumper to put Duke up 3; she then
found Georgia for a three after getting a steal. Michele posted up a couple
of plays later and hit a big turnaroundjumper, and then posted up again
to find a cutting Parent. After ISU cut the lead to 6, she alertly cut
and received a great Gingrich pass to start a 9-0 run that put the game

** Gingrich: Played a lot of important minutes, but showed that her shot is
not quite back yet. Took a too-quick three with about five minutes at a
point when Duke was trying to take a little air out of the ball. But she
had two splendid consecutive assists: one a no-look to a cutting Matyasovsky
and the other a relocation pass to Georgia for a big three.

** Krapohl: Set up Olga for her jumper in the last moments of the game.

Cameron Craziness: There were 7,423 fans at a time when the students were
away, an amazing feat. Iowa State brought a good contingent of their own
fans, but this was maybe a couple of hundred people. Duke ran a promotion
where anyone could bring in a ticket from the day's earlier Duke men's game
and get in free, and a lot of folks responded. The crowd was pretty quiet
throughout most of the first half, but when things got tight in the second
half, they slowly built up to a roar that didn't stop until well after the
game. The most dedicated fans were a couple of guys who did some serious
body painting: one was blue from the waist up, including his shaved head,
and another was similarly blue, only with silver-sprayed hair. Both had
Matyasovsky's #41 painted on their chests. Several members of the men's
team were in attendance as usual, as was Rometra Craig's dad Roger, the
great former football player. Coach G applauded the crowd after the game,
and it was clear that they were a factor down the stretch. The players
were mobbed for autographs after the game, and they signed for quite a long
time. BTW, the biggest crowd to see a Duke game came against UNC in 1999,
when 8,572 people saw Duke pull away from the Heels in the second half.

Next Game: Tuesday, January 2nd against Wake Forest, in Duke's ACC home
opener. The Deacs have long been the doormat of the league, but the current
group is a much-improved team, led by a number of veterans and frosh wing
star Eafton Hill. Duke should win this game but must be able to neutralize
Wake's size and minimize mistakes.