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Duke Beats George Mason

by Rob Clough

GoDuke recap |
ESPN recap |

Duke beat George Mason 88-68 on Sunday, December 3rd, but it wasn't
easy. In fact, Mason led the Devils 39-38 at the half, thanks to guard
Jen Surlas' 21 points and a 15-9 advantage on the boards. But Duke
turned up the pressure early in the second half, going on a 16-2 run
fueled by Alana Beard's defense and some surprising offense from Rochelle

The game mirrored Duke's victory over UNC-Charlotte earlier in the week
in that the Devils looked shaky in the first half but put their opponent
away at the start of the second. Georgia Schweitzer continues to have
some problems running the point, netting 5 turnovers. She did step up
her game in the second half, scoring 11 of her 17 points. She also had 3
steals and a team-high 6 rebounds. Georgia also passed some significant
milestones in this game. She zoomed into the top ten career scoring
list, moving ahead of Carey Kauffman, Alison Day and Stacy Hurd and now
stands at 1243 total points. She also picked up her 400th career rebound
and moved into 9th place on the all-time steals list.

Eight different players received at least 13 minutes of playing time,
with Krista Gingrich playing a season-high 13 minutes thanks to Rometra
Craig not playing in this game. The bench accounted for 20 of Duke's
points, with Michele Matyasovsky leading the way with 7 points, along
with 3 boards, 2 assists and a steal. She ably filled in for Parent, who
was in foul trouble.

Beard led Duke with 20 points and 4 steals. Mosch also had a solid
game, scoring all 11 in the second half, mostly on free throws. Tillis
had a solid 12 points, 3 boards and 3 assists.

While George Mason is a good team that was undefeated, the game should
not have been that close at the half. Duke has yet to play forty minutes
of consistent basketball, but is 9-0 because of superior talent and depth
with flashes of brilliance. With Clemson coming up next Saturday, it
will be important to have a quick start.

This year's edition of the Tigers are 3-2 and are likely to be 4-2 when
they face Duke. They lost to a ranked Illinois team and to #2 Tennessee,
which uses pressure similar to Duke's, only for the entire game. Clemson
is deadly in Littlejohn, an arena that's been a house of horrors for Duke
over the years. Erin Batth is one of the best post players in the ACC,
and certainly its best defensive center. Krystal Scott is a steady point
guard and Chrissy Floyd is one of the league's best scorers, who has
greatly improved her range. The Tigers go 9 deep and force 24 turnovers
a game, but also commit 20 of their own. (Sound familiar?) They have
three legitimate three point threats in Floyd, Julie Aderhold (shooting
an insane 64% from three) and Nuria Forns (38%), plus Scott. Clemson
does not rebound well aside from Batth. The winner of this game will be
the team that can keep its turnovers down. Clemson's usual advantages--
depth, size, strength--are pretty much negated by this Duke team, and
even their best attribute--team speed-- is bettered by Duke. The Devils
will need to pound the glass, extend their defense to the perimeter, take
care of the ball and be aware of Clemson attacking in transition.