Duke 81, Wake Forest 56. January 2, 2001. Cameron Indoor Stadium.
by Rob Clough (Note: Rob was taking a well-deserved break at the start of the year but nonetheless was kind enough to send this review of last week's win over Wake Forest. Thanks, Rob, and welcome back!)
There were a lot of positives to draw from Duke's win over Wake Forest.
It evened the Devils' record at 1-1 in the ACC, and 13-1 overall. Five
different players scored in double figures. Duke enjoyed a 49-37 edge on
the boards and forced 32 turnovers. Georgia Schweitzer not only became
Duke's all-time three point leader, passing Jen Scanlon, but also moved
ahead of Payton Black in career scoring. She's now 65 points away from
#5 all-time in that category. She also tied Leigh Morgan for #4 in career
assists and passed Hilary Howard for #7 in career steals. But no one was
especially happy about this, because Duke played with an unnerving lack of
precision and passion.
Where to begin? Let's start with Duke's 25 turnovers, many of which
were careless passes thrown out of bounds or came as a result of sloppy
ballhandling. Then there's Wake's 13 offensive rebounds, and Duke's 20
fouls. In the second half, Duke let Wake chop a 34 point lead down to 25.
The Devils were never in any danger of losing, due in part to Wake's
atrocious perimeter shooting (0-10 from three), but the general lethargy
that took over the team was disturbing, especially from players who should
have been pumped up to get some extended playing time.
The first ten minutes were extremely slow paced, with Duke slowly
building a lead an inept Wake team had trouble cutting into. Iciss Tillis
hit an early three as well as a layup that Georgia created on a broken play.
Alana Beard had one of her patented midcourt steals and breakaways for a
layup, and Sheana Mosch hit a couple of free throws to give Duke a 9-6 edge
with five minutes gone by. The Devils then went on a 6-0 mini-run, highlighted
by a Schweitzer steal and bomb to a speeding Mosch for a layup. Missy
West then found Georgia for a three on a beautiful relocation pass from
After a Wake three point play, Duke went on a four minute, 10-0 run that
started with another Beard steal, but mostly consisted of Duke free throws.
Tillis had a flawless turnaround jumper in that time period as well, a great
shot to use against the huge and deep Wake front line. Duke led 28-10 at
this point, and continued with the 18 point lead when Georgia inbounded to
Olga Gvozdenovic for an easy two. A couple of turnovers boosted Wake's
confidence, and they closed the gap to 30-18 with a couple of minutes left
in the half. Duke finished the half strong with a 9-2 run that saw Duke
outrun the Wake defense with a Schweitzer-to-Rometra Craig bomb. The best
play came when Tillis received a pass out beyond the three point line. She
spotted up as if to take a shot, and when her defender came at her, she
instead zipped it to a wide-open LaNedra Brown for an easy layup. Nedra also
rebounded a Tillis miss to give Duke a 39-20 halftime lead.
After Wake started the second half strong to cut the lead to 15, Duke
finally put it together and went on a 12-3 run to firmly establish control.
Not surprisingly, it was Schweitzer who was the central figure in the run.
She opened with a three, hit an 18' jumper on a Tillis assist, and then
stole the ball and zipped it into Tillis for an easy layup. For her part,
Tillis hit a three and sank a beautiful turnaround jumper. After Wake cut
the lead to 51-29, Duke went on a 14-2 run to blow the game right open.
Beard started things off with a steal and layup. She got fouled but missed
the free throw. However, Tillis got the offensive rebound and Georgia
was then fouled. She uncharacteristically missed two foul shots, but Tillis
was there once again. This time, Mosch hit two free throws after getting
hacked. Tillis continued her spectacular play by blocking a shot, getting
the board, and starting the break. She dished ahead to Craig for a 2-on-0
break, and then Craig passed it back to her to finish it off. The rest of
the run came on foul shots and a Mosch drive.
After getting pummelled by Duke's pressure, Wake started to fight back a
bit, and was aided by Coach G going deep into her bench. While Wake could
not buy a perimeter bucket, they started to get more patient in working
the ball inside. They were also able to get to the foul line and pick up
some offensive rebounds. They went on an 11-2 run that took advantage of
some bad passes from Vicki Krapohl and combined 0-12 shooting from Craig,
Gzovdenovic, West, Gingrich, White, Krapohl and Gebisa. Mosch continued to
play well, finding Brown on a pass to break the press and driving for a
three point play.
The best thing about the half is that Duke's starters righted themselves
and worked better as a unit, dominating the slower Deacons. But in
general, the bench did not play well, and Michele Matyasovsky's absence due
to a stomach virus didn't help matters any.
1. Rebounding. Duke thrashed a much taller team on the boards, with Parent
and Tillis leading the way. Mosch's 6 boards were a testament to her
quickness and leaping ability, and White's 6 rebounds in limited minutes
showed her immense potential.
2. Post play. Duke was going inside to Tillis quite a bit, getting her used
to playing in the paint. And Wake's big bodies were a great test. Tillis
was even better on defense, and Brown stepped up a bit as well. Beard also
played aggressively on defense, blocking some shots.
3. Shot blocking. Duke turned the tables on the huge Deacs by actively
going after their slow releases. Tillis smothered one shot so completely
that she got a jump ball called.
1. Shooting. An uncharacteristic 29% from three, with only Tillis and
Schweitzer being able to hit. Just 40% overall, with a long cold streak in
the second half. Duke compensated by getting to the line.
2. Ballhandling. Very sloppy overall, with vets like Schweitzer and Mosch
responsible for a number of the gaffes. But the bench didn't help their case
with their fumbles.
** Tillis: The best overall game of her young career. She was big early
on, scoring Duke's first five points. She gave a hint of what was to come
later in the half when she posted up and sank a perfect turnaround. She
stayed out of foul trouble and still was blocking shots left and right.
Iciss put the game away with Schweitzer when they teamed up for 9 points and
2 assists in the span of two minutes. It's hard, really, to pick out her
play of the game, which in this case was the play of the game in general.
Some might be tempted to select the gorgeous block-rebound-lead fast break-
finish on return pass sequence that electrified Cameron. I would instead
chose the savvy fake pull-up jumper for three and quick dish to a cutting
Brown, because it showcased not only her shooting potential but her smarts.
Another heady play came when she was trying to get an offensive rebound
falling out of bounds, and wisely bounced it off a Wake player to maintain
possession. I don't think Iciss is done developing yet, folks...the best is
yet to come.
** Parent: A tough shooting night, but good defense and rebounding as usual.
She reversed the ball to Georgia and Iciss for threes, grabbed 8 boards,
got in the passing lanes for 3 steals and only committed 1 turnover. About
the only downer was her 2-6 performance from the foul line, since she's
usually very dependable. She shadowed and hounded solid scorer Brenda
Mock-Kirkpatrick into a bad game.
** Beard: Alana was a bit out of control and relied too much on her
athleticism. Despite this, she was able to use her incredible quickness
and larcenous hands to score three times on steals & layups, getting a three
point play out of one of them. She also found Mosch on a cut and Schweitzer
for a three. Incidentally, Alana was named ACC
ACC Rookie of the Week for the week ending January 2nd,
on the strength of her dominating performance against Iowa State. Duke has
won all but one of the awards this year, and this is Alana's fourth.
** Mosch: A very smooth, efficient game. She went to her biggest strength,
the ability to penetrate, to get a fastbreak bucket and two foul shots from
a drive in the first half. She also used her remarkable leaping ability to
not only snag 6 rebounds (3 offensive), but also get a block! In the second
half, she again used her ability to drive to get some key baskets, including
a three point play...and she picked up another block! An error-free game
that deserves great praise.
** Schweitzer: A sublime performance. For such a prolific scorer, it's
amazing how unselfish she is. In this game, one could sense that she knew
Duke would be able to win with ease, so she sacrificed her shots to get
others involved. She had 2 field goal attempts in the first half, hitting
one (a three), but also had 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 rebounds. She sank
a couple of big shots early in the second half to salt the game away and
hit a late three after Wake mounted a bit of a run. There's an article on
her at the Women's Basketball Journal site
here. And be sure to check out Georgia's
where she talks about what losing means to her.
** Craig: Rometra blew two open layups, but really bounced back at the foul
line. An inexplicably bad free throw shooter in the past, she went 6-7 in
this game. Good thing, too, because Wake was fouling her rather than letting
her drive. Ro also scored in transition and with a short jumper behind a
screen. Her three rebounds were also a solid number for a guard, though she's
still a bit careless with the ball at times.
** Gvozdenovic: An OK game for Olga. She scored on an inbounds and a few
free throws and managed to get an o-board, but also fouled too much and was
sloppy with the ball. She is playing better defense overall, though.
** West: The worst shooting night of her career, 0-6. And most of them
were very good shots, with the exception of an attempt under the basket that
went right into a Wake player's hand for a block. Still, she was still
very self-assured out there and was very active on defense. Rather than see
this as a player who was melting down, I viewed it as a good player making
the right decisions who just needed a bit of luck.
** White: After a 2 foul first half that was a waste of time, she bounced
back with a strong second half with 2 points, 6 rebounds and a block. All
was not perfect, as she turned it over twice. Seeing her get to the foul
line and converting was very encouraging, as was her dominating presence
on the boards against a big team. Crystal is still a bit raw and mechanical
at times, but she will one day be an extremely significant performer for
Duke. I wouldn't be surprised to see her as a starter by her junior year.
** Gingrich: Not a good game for Krista. Two missed jumpers and two very
bad turnovers. After seeing her steadily improve as she got over her
injury, this was a bit of a setback.
** Brown: A very heady game for Nedra, who needed a dose of confidence.
She was at the right place at the right time for Tillis' pass, crashed the
boards for a putback, and ran the floor well to convert on a break. Other
than a silly turnover (which often seem to wreck her otherwise sterling
appearances), she added a different dimension to the team, a tall player
who is also fairly strong and a great leaper. One of my favorite players,
I hope she continues to get more playing time.
** Krapohl: A near-nightmarish experience for Vicki, who nonetheless continued
to fight hard to the end. Wake was pressing her hard, and forced 3 ugly
turnovers. She also missed a couple of open jumpers, but did get an assist
and steal. While it seems increasingly unlikely that she'll get significant
playing time this year, she's still a crucial practice player because of
Duke's lack of ballhandlers.
** Gebisa: Blew an easy layup but did manage to get 2 rebounds.
Cameron Craziness: Much smaller crowd this time, just a couple of thousand.
Hopefully, the return of the students and some more big-time foes will get
a bigger crowd in for the next home game.