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Duke Women Beat Charlotte

by Rob Clough (our apologies for not posting sooner)

Duke 78, UNC-Charlotte 59. November 29th, 2000. Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Duke is now at a point where when they play certain opponents, the
competition is not with the other team but with themselves, to play at a
certain high level. Coach G was unhappy that her team, despite winning
by 18 points, was not able to play with consistent intensity. To a woman,
the players said that they took Charlotte too lightly, think that their 1-3
record against less-than-stellar competition meant that the game would be
a cakewalk. Well, it wasn't, as the very game 49'ers kept it close for
the first fifteen minutes of the game, survived a big Duke run, and went on
a 7-2 run to close out the half. The halftime margin was a mere 8 points,
and Coach G kept the team in the locker room for a good long time before
they ran out for the second half.

Despite being outshot 42 to 30% by Duke in the first half, UNCC kept it
close by staying close on the boards (20-16 Duke) and taking advantage of
many Duke mistakes (13 first half turnovers). It didn't help that Alana
Beard got a little overaggressive and picked up 2 early fouls, nor did Iciss
Tillis' sloppy play, nor the fact that none of Georgia Schweitzer's shots
were falling. But the first five minutes of the second half showed what Duke
can do when motivated and focused, as they went on a 15-0 run and forced
9 steals. The next wave of subs came in and played just as well, pushing
Duke's margin up to 30, but the deepest reserves turned the game into an
ugly hackfest, allowing UNC-Charlotte to save face by reducing the final
margin to 2.

Duke shot 55% for the game to Charlotte's 39%, outrebounded them by just
a smidge (31 to 27) and had almost as many turnovers as they did (26 to 30).
It was the last stat that most angered Coach G, and she promised that the
team would do a little running to add some, ahem, extra motivation to take
care of the ball. Schweitzer had 12 points and Mosch 11, with an erratic
Tillis leading the way in boards with 6. Alana Beard carved up UNCC in
the second half and wound up with 8 assists, 8 points and 5 steals. Ro
Parent had another strong game, picking up her scoring with 8 points as well
as getting 5 steals. Duke had 6 blocks and forced 4 tie-ups.

Duke opened up an early 7-2 lead as Georgia found Mosch on a cut and hit
a three. Rochelle Parent demonstrated her new commitment to offense by
scoring on a drive and nifty layup under the basket. A couple of Duke misses
and turnovers (3 in just one minute) helped Charlotte get some easy ones
and cut the lead to 7-6. Parent got a steal and started a break, and Georgia
fed Iciss for the easy basket. Five consecutive misses by Duke later,
and UNCC had tied the score with a three eight minutes into the game.

The Devils scored 5 in a row thanks to a West three and some Mosch foul
shots, but Charlotte would not go away. Every time Duke would get a five
point lead, usually in transition, Charlotte would manage to get an open
shot or get to the foul line. Finally, with about five minutes left in the
half and leading UNCC 20-16, Duke went on a 9-0 run. There was a steal and
fast break, thanks to Mosch, but White hit some foul shots, Parent hit a very
long jumper (just short of three a la Brian Davis) and Georgia found Missy
for a three. Finally, it seemed, Duke was ready to put them away. But
three turnovers and a bunch of dumb fouls, plus some good shooting around
the basket, showed that Charlotte wasn't interested in being Duke's patsy.
The 49'ers pulled within 29-23 with under a minute left in the half, but
Olga Gvozdenovic found Georgia and boosted Duke's lead to 8. This came after
Tillis had pulled down a rebound after Georgia had missed a jumper. One
never felt that Duke was in any real danger despite the close score, but
UNCC needed to be put away, and fast. A decision to go to a different
defense turned out to be crucial.

Alana Beard let everyone know she was back when she blocked a shot early
in the second half, got the rebound, jetted upcourt to start a break, and
dished off to Schweitzer. This triggered a 15-0 run fueled by 7 steals
thanks to a 1-3-1 press that Duke hadn't used much before. Coach G is
still experimenting with her presses in practice but thought that she
spotted certain tendencies in UNCC that would make them easy to trap, and
she was right. Beard had 4 steals, 4 assists, and 4 points in the sequence
that simply stunned the 49'ers to the point where they started to throw
the ball away before Duke even turned up the pressure. Schweitzer scored
7 points and teamed with Beard to create incredibly effective traps. Mosch
got into the act by being one of Beard's targets and scored 4 herself.

After trading baskets for a bit, Duke went on a 10-2 run that removed
any doubt remaining about the game's outcome. Duke was hurting Charlotte
in a variety of ways, with drives from Craig and Beard and post scoring from
Matyasovsky and Brown, and a jumper from Beard. After a 7-0 UNCC run aided
by (guess!) back-to-back turnovers, Duke went on a 10-3 run to reclaim
a 30 point lead at 69-39. The deep reserves built that run, with Gingrich
finding White and Brown, Crystal hitting a couple of free throws, and Gingrich
getting a rebound basket. There were about five minutes remaining at this
point, but they would wind up being a very loooong five minutes.

In essence, UNCC outscored Duke 20-9 down the stretch, with Krapohl,
Gebisa, Brown, Gingrich and Gvozdenovic on the floor with West and Mosch
getting a few minutes as well. Beard, Schweitzer and Parent had long since
gone to the bench, with about twelve minutes left in the game. The thing that
made it ugly was 8 fouls by Duke, not to mention 6 turnovers. And a lot
of it was due to some pressure by Charlotte, so the drill would go: turnover
in back; then foul to try to make up for it. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Duke played well in spurts in this contest, but too often seemed to lack
concentration. As a young team, mistakes will be made but there has to be
progress seen as well. Some of the players have steadily progressed as
the season has gone on, others have been up and down with every game. Duke
is about to play their first ACC road game (against always tough Clemson)
and will be away from home for a month; this will give Coach G a chance
to really evaluate her players and help her decide who players #9 and 10
will be.

** Negatives:

1. Inconsistency. The team looked brilliant in some sequences and clueless
in others. It can't be easy finding playing time for 14 players, since at
this time of year it's hard to get smooth player combos together for games.
But there's no excuse for throwing bad passes or allowing the opponent
to get multiple offensive rebounds.

2. Overconfidence. Duke seemed surprised that they weren't blowing them
out in the first half, but instead of redoubling their efforts on defense,
they continued to drift a bit.

3. Turnovers. UNCC only had 7 steals for the game, so that meant 19 unforced
turnovers. Iciss' were the most inexplicable, as she one time had the ball
in the lane, and dribbled so hard that the ball popped up and away from her.

** Positives:

1. Shotblocking. A new arrow in Duke's defensive quiver. It's not just
Crystal, as Michele Matyasovky has long held the potential to be a solid
shotblocker. Alana also had some incredible rejections as well.

2. Aggressiveness. Duke truly asserted its will at the start of the second
half with its brutal 1-3-1 press. After being surprised at hanging in there
in the second half, UNCC looked even more stunned that they were just as
quickly out of the game!

3. Unselfishness. Of Duke's 30 field goals, 24 were directly a result of
assists. Everyone loves to pass on this team, which sometimes leads to
overpassing, but it helps keep everyone happy.


** Tillis: This was Iciss' worst game as a Devil. Her shot looked flat
and her hands looked a bit nervous, as she made some strange errors. Her
only scores came on easy layups. Despite all this, she still led the team
with 6 rebounds and had 2 blocks and a steal, and even an assist to Michele.
Basically, she looked like a freshman--nervous and trying too hard. She
has way too much talent to be quiet for long, however, so look for her to
bounce back in a big way against George Mason.

** Parent: A truly fine first half for Ro, as she looked for her offense
and found a couple of nice drives and a long jumper. Word had it that she
had shot a bunch of jumpers over the summer to improve, but she hadn't had
cause to display it as of yet. She was also all over the passing lanes,
shutting down Charlotte with 4 first half steals. She did have 3 turnovers,
but none were that damaging. Ro found Georgia cutting in the second half
for a basket, and didn't play very much at all in the half. It's great
to see her assert herself, because I suspect Duke is going to see some triangle
and two on Beard and Schweitzer, and Ro is going to have to step up to
combat it.

** Beard: Alana picked up 2 quick fouls and was either on the bench or
out of the sorts the entire rest of the half, with the exception of a couple
of nice passes to Georgia and Michele. It was almost as if she felt that
if she couldn't go all-out, she just had to restrain herself. Duke's leading
scorer did not take a single shot in the first half! The second half was
a different story, as she and Georgia gutted the Charlotte offense and
then sliced up the defense with a devastating transition attack. Alana
scored on layups (including one drive where she accelerated so quickly it
looked like everyone else was standing still) and also hit a short jumper.
Her ability to use either hand makes her incredibly tough to stop, although
she's not that fond of going to the right since she's a southpaw. It was
fantastic to see her turn her game around so completely in such short order,
a sign of a mature player.

** Mosch: Sheana once again quietly had a fine game. When Duke's offense
was stagnating at several points, she took the initiative to drive to the
basket and get fouled. She also scored off cuts and steals in the half and
displayed her toughness by getting 4 rebounds. Sheana scored in transition
a couple of times in the second half and also ran the team a bit, finding
Nedra for a late-game basket. She is sometimes careless with her passing
but is a good ballhandler. Mosch is a real factor on this year's team, and
will catch a lot of opponents off-guard who are concentrating on Beard,
Schweitzer and Tillis.

** Schweitzer: Playing with that injured shoulder, Georgia nevertheless
had 3 assists and 0 turnovers (making up for the last couple of games) in
addition to all those points. After missing 6 of her first 8 shots, she
hit 3 of her last 6, including getting fouled after making a basket. Her
assists included finding Mosch on a cut, West for a three and Tillis on a
runout. Georgia is starting to really move up in the Duke record books,
so I thought I'd take this chance to present:

The Georgia Schweitzer Senior StatWatch (TM):


10. Carey Kauffman, 1228
11. Georgia Schweitzer, 1227
12. Connie Goins, 1140

Threes Made:

1. Jen Scanlon, 159
2. Georgia Schweitzer, 149
3. Kira Orr, 133

Threes Attempted:

1. Jen Scanlon, 420
2. Kira Orr, 416
3. Georgia Schweitzer, 369


5. Claire Rose, 335
6. Georgia Schweitzer, 315
7. Connie Goins, 297


9. Jennifer Chestnut, 130
10. Georgia Schweitzer, 127
10. Lauren Rice, 127
12. Joanne Boyle, 125


11. Peppi Browne, 39
12. Chris Moreland, 36
13. Georgia Schweitzer, 30

** West: Missy had a solid game, and her best stat was 3 assists and no
turnovers. She ran a 2-on-1 with Mosch and passed to her for the bucket,
and found Olga and Lello on consecutive plays. She hit a couple of first
half threes and missed a pull-up jumper in the lane. Her passes were her
most spectacular plays, as she mostly just looked solid but unspectacular.
Missy played a good bit of point and did a nice job running the team.

** Craig: Another quiet game from Rometra, who only scored on a drive
and had 3 turnovers. She also got burned several times on defense, going for
the home run steal a few too many times. There's a time to gamble one-on-one
and there's a time to be a bit more conservative, and she's simply learning
the difference at this point. Still, she's amazingly confident and will
continue to do some big things this year. But she must improve her 2-10
shooting from the foul line, which is considerably worse than her 38% three
point shooting! I also wouldn't mind seeing her attack the boards a bit
more, because she's quick enough to get to them.

** Matyasovsky: Michele is working very hard on her post moves, and she's
much more fluid and effective in the post than she was last year. She hit
a half-hook in the lane and turn around for another short shot. Michele also
used her solid timing to block a shot, and she now actually leads the
team in that category. As a team, Duke blocks 5 shots a game, which is
pretty remarkable. She also scored on a transition basket and found Beard
for a short jumper. In the rotation, she generally comes in for Tillis
and gets to play about 15 minutes a game. This number will actually go up
a bit as the games get tighter, because she'll be a big part of the rotation.
Duke's bench is averaging 31 points a game and Michele is a big reason why.

** White: Crystal's development is really rather startling to watch. In every
game, she seems to add a new element to her game or fix some nagging flaw.
In this game, she hit all 4 of her free throws, after only hitting 3 of her
first 7 this year. She also turned around and finger-rolled in a nice
shot, continuing to show that she can really finish around the basket. More
than anything, I love her composure on the court, as she has a certain
unflappability that may prove quite valuable down the road.

** Gvozdenovic: Olga continues to improve with each passing game. She seems
much more comfortable on the court and is using her strength to block out
well. She scored on a West feed and dished to a cutting Georgia for an
easy basket. Olga did start to foul a bit too much towards the end of the
game, but then this was true of virtually every Duke player. But Olga has
stopped whining about her fouls, and now just walks away. She and Nedra
are neck and neck in terms of development at this point, and I think either
could come into a big game and play for a minute or two.

** Brown: Nedra was very active and made up for her struggles against
Toledo. While she did fumble the ball away a couple of times (by far her
biggest fault), she made herself a nice scoring target and finished several
plays. Most noticeably, she's added a nice turnaround jumper to her skill
set and scored twice with this move when the guards fed her in the post.
Mosch also found her down low for an easy score. About the only thing she
didn't do here was rebound that well--she only had the one offensive rebound.
Still, she was incredibly aggressive and looked very polished on offense.
She also got a steal and looked OK on defense, sometimes not getting in
her correct spot down low.

** Krapohl: Vicki continues to struggle a bit. One can tell that she has
skills, but is still a bit overwhelmed physically. She does have excellent
court vision and found Matyasovsky under the basket for a short hook.

** Gingrich: Krista is still being brought along slowly. Her only score
came after Lello missed a wide-open layup and she laid it in. She found
White in the half court and Brown for a turn-around jumper. There was a time
when she threw a ball away in the backcourt when Duke had a big lead, and
she just kind of chuckled, though I'm sure Coach G wasn't amused. I'm
still curious as to when she'll return to the regular rotation--it certainly
is getting crowded back there. Krista continues to be the fanciest dribbler
on the team, using it to get out of some tight situations.

** Gebisa: Lello managed to turn the ball over 3 times in just five minutes
of play, but also scored in transition and grabbed an o-board. She also
managed to pick up 2 fouls, not a great way to impress the coach. She's
pretty much player #14 at this point with so much competition in the frontcourt.

Cameron Craziness: A slightly smaller crowd than before, but still a good
showing. The band played Happy Birthday for Missy West. Favorite sign:
"Rochelle and her hair kick ass!" This was a tribute to the rather unusual
'do she was sporting, a sort-of set of afro-puffs.

Next Game: On Sunday November 3, vs George Mason in Fairfax. Duke destroyed
Mason last year in Cameron, but the Patriots are undefeated having just
defeated a very solid Georgetown club. They have 5 different players in
double figures and 4 different players have led the team in scoring. While
Duke should be able to win, this game will be surprisingly tough considering
the fact that it's on the road. The Patriots only average about 300 people
a game, so perhaps Duke's presence will draw a larger gate. Here's a link
to the official Mason's women's hoops site.