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Duke Squeaks By In Reynolds

Duke 73, NC State 68. January 13, 2002. Reynolds Coliseum.



Coach Boyle feature

Chronicle on Boyle

Chronicle on Vicki Krapohl

The rivalry between the Duke and NC State womens' programs is an
interesting one. While the Pack dominated Duke for years, the series
suddenly became a whole lot more fierce when Coach G arrived in Durham.
Over the last several years, the two teams have produced a string of
intense, passionate and emotional games with the narrowest of margins
either way. The games are so interesting because the teams in recent
years have been a study in contrast: a Duke team that relies on quickness
and execution versus a State squad that leans heavily on post play and
defense. Usually, the Pack is able to slow down Duke's offense, but the
Devils have also been able to raise their level of defensive intensity.
But unlike the very real dislike the Duke and UNC squads have for each
other, there is a certain level of mutual respect between Duke and
State. Summer Erb used to come to Durham to watch her old friends
Michele Van Gorp and Nicole Erickson play, while Duke honored State
legend Kay Yow after she reached the 600 victory mark. But the greatest
sign of respect the two programs have is the way that both will battle to
the bitter end. The game on Sunday was certainly no exception.

Duke was looking to extend their lead in the ACC by winning their sixth
game, while the Pack were looking to get back into the race by trying to
go 4-1. They had to feel good about their chances since they had beaten
Duke twice in a row at Reynolds. But the Pack have had levels of
upheaval even greater than Duke's this year. First, they lose point
guard Terah James to an ACL injury--this after she missed last year with
an ACL injury. Then team captain, top defender and perimeter player Ivy
Gardner quits the team. The Pack went into a tailspin, losing several
games against non-conference opponents before rallying to beat UNC in
Chapel Hill. But the Pack lost star center Carisse Moody to injury for
several weeks after that game. Luckily, the Pack were the deepest team
in the league before the season started, and they're getting a chance to
prove it now. The performance of several young and unheralded players
nearly pulled off a win against Duke.

State still had a big advantage in the middle with Kaayla Chones, one
of the league's best frosh two years ago who had to sit out a season due
to injury (a recurring theme at State). Duke's plan was to double-team
her immediately when she got the ball in the post and force her to take
bad shots or pass out of it. The Wolfpack Women are a poor-shooting team
from the three point line, so Duke was going to cheat towards the post as
much as possible and force NCSU to beat them from long-range. On Duke's
side, they wanted to control the boards and force turnovers so as to
start their deadly fast break, especially since State doesn't have the
athletes to keep up with the Devils in a fast-paced game.

The game started with a cheap Iciss Tillis foul, a bad sign since she
had to play well defensively for Duke to win. Both teams were a bit
jittery at first, turning the ball over and missing easy shots. State
struck first with a short jumper, but Duke countered with a Vicki Krapohl
three on a Beard pass. Monique Currie then stole the ball and threw it
downcourt to Beard, just as the Devils had planned. Yow was having none
of that and called an immediate 30 second timeout. Out of it, State
player Amy Simpson nailed a three to tie things up. Hitting two jumpers
early was great for State's confidence, especially for Simpson, who had a
career-high 25 points in beating Duke two years ago. Krapohl then drove
and passed to Beard, who hit a 17' jumper from the baseline. Alana
wanted to show right away that the Pack couldn't be content to let Beard
take jumpers, because she'd nail them if given the opportunity.

Over the next three minutes, the teams traded punches. A Simpson layup
was matched by a Currie rebound basket, grabbing her own miss on the
break. A turnover and missed three attempt led State to grabbing an 11-9
lead with fifteen minutes left, but Duke responded with a 6-0 run fueled
by Beard and Sheana Mosch, excelling coming off the bench. Simply put,
the two players attacked State's man defense by taking their opponents
off the dribble. Mosch and Beard both drew shooting fouls this way, and
Mosch also turned a rebound into another fast break finish for Beard.
The Devils had a 15-11 lead with twelve minutes gone by, and were looking
to run State out of the building.

Their halfcourt game held in check, the Pack again relied on their
guards, with Simpson hitting another three to close the gap. She had
matched Beard's 8 early points with 8 of her own. Unheralded guard
Rachel Stockdale came off the bench to hit a short jumper to give State
another 1-point lead. But the veteran Mosch pulled up from the baseline
and hit one of her typical short jumpers to restore Duke's lead. Duke
hit the offensive boards to come up with a Tillis jumper, but the Pack
fought back with a three point play by Chones after Stockdale dished off
to her. A Tillis steal gave Beard the chance to attack the basket yet
again, knifing in one-on-two to score. Alana was hot and Duke was going
to use her in transition whenever they could. State was starting to miss
jumpers and the Devils immediately started to run. Gingrich picked up a
rebound and threw it down to Beard, who again scored with ease. A State
foul after a rebound put Beard at the foul line, and her two shots gave
Duke a 25-19 lead with eight minutes to go in the half.

Once again, a timely three prevented State from being knocked out.
This time it was from Stockdale. Duke countered with a clever inbounds
play that freed up Beard on a Whitley feed. From there, however, State
went on a 7-1 run that gave them another lead, highlighted by several
close misses on Duke's part and yet another three (by deep sub Amelia
Labador) that surprised the Devils' defense. State was tightening up its
defense, but center Wynter Whitley surprised them by putting the ball on
the floor and driving before hitting a short jumper. Another pushing
foul on State after a miss put Beard on the line, who made both
attempts. With State focusing on Beard, Currie got a chance to get some
one-on-one matchups and capitalized with a three point play. The Pack
had the ball with less than a minute left, but a Kendra Bell short jumper
was blocked by Beard, who recovered the rebound. Duke ran the clock down
and Currie drove all the way before passing all the way back out to
Beard, who sank a three as time expired. This gave Duke their biggest
lead at 38-31 and shifted the momentum pendulum back in their favor.

The stats for both teams were pretty even at the half, with one big
exception: rebounding. Duke had a 26-15 edge, including 11 offensive
boards. The Devils had also managed to stay out of foul trouble. Beard
scored 21 points, including 13 of Duke's last 19 of the half. Clearly,
State would have to rethink their tactics, or else Beard would be
prepared to drop 40 or more on them. The decision was made to go
box-and-one on Beard, with Amy Simpson face guarding her. The tactic
worked to the extent that it prevented Beard from getting the ball, but
left the Pack vulnerable to her teammates. Duke has had success in the
last month precisely because Beard's teammates have learned to step up
when they were really needed.

Tillis came out and set the stage for her second-half emergence with a
steal and open-court layup, but that was to be Duke's last basket for
nearly four minutes. Once again, State went on a run, fueled by a couple
of blown Beard layups and their ability to get to the free throw line.
The Pack were now beating Duke off the dribble and were moving Chones
around a bit better to create some space inside. With less than fifteen
minutes left, NCSU had a 41-40 lead. Mosch came through in a tough spot
yet again when she drove and hit a floater. Another veteran, Gingrich,
came up with a huge play when she stole the ball back after Mosch had
stolen and lost it and dished ahead to Currie, who muscled in for a
finish. That was a 4-point swing that State didn't recover from for
several minutes.

Bell did wheel in with a spectacular layup to make it a 1 point game,
but Whitley got the ball in the blocks, posted up and got a three point
play over Chones. A State miss saw Gingrich zip it upcourt towards
Tillis, who converted in transition. Once again, Duke went cold for a
couple of minutes and State took advantage with a 6-0 run to tie things
up at 51 with nine minutes left. The next four minutes saw 7 lead
changes and some furious action.

It started with Gingrich driving and hitting Mosch for a 19' jumper.
State countered with a huge three from Bell. Iciss started to get into
the act with a turnaround jumper in the lane. With Chones saddled with
3 fouls, Tillis had a bit more freedom in the post. Labador put State up
by 1 with a jumper, and State staked out a 3 point lead on a Talisha
Scates drive. The State fans were going nuts, but Duke didn't panic.
They worked the ball around until Tillis was able to post up again and
hit another turnaround. A huge steal by Currie led to Mosch getting
fouled, and the icy guard barely disturbed the nets in getting the shots
to fall. Duke led 59-58 with five minutes to go.

Things got even more tense when Simpson popped out to give State
another 1-point lead. Krapohl drove and found Tillis spotting up outside
the arc, and the confident forward sank a killer three to give Duke a
62-60 lead. Duke had their chances to extend their lead, but Tillis
missed 2 foul shots and a layup in transition while Beard had a turnover
and missed a jumper. State wasn't able to capitalize until a Bell drive
set up a Chones basket. Mosch hit 2 more free throws after a drive but
was matched by a Bell drive. With two minutes to go, the score was once
again tied, this time at 66-66.

Out of the timeout, Duke patiently worked the ball around until Mosch
drove and passed it to Tillis, who once again hit an enormous three
pointer that gave Duke a tiny working margin of 3. An awkward but
effective drive by Scates made it a 1 point game with over a minute
left. Mosch drove to the basket but was called for a charge, giving
State a chance to take the lead. State went to Chones, who missed a
close shot that was rebounded by the alert Currie. Mo was promptly
fouled, but quite coolly drained both shots to restore Duke's three point
lead. State elected to try to tie the game with a three, getting an open
look for Bell. Her miss fell into Chones' hands, but the ball popped out
and into Beard's waiting mitts. With seven seconds left, Beard hit both
shots to put the game out of reach, and State turned the ball over on
their next possession.

State had shot extremely well from three (5-11) while Duke was only
4-16, way under their average. The Devils forced 17 turnovers but
committed 17 of their own. While they outscored State on the fast break
12-0, the Pack's 20 bench points and slight advantage in the paint made
up for it. Duke won this game for two reasons: their tenacious
rebounding and ability to get to the line. Duke has a firm grip on the
ACC lead right now, with UNC lurking as their most imposing challenger.

** Negatives:

1. Three point shooting. Actually, I can only complain about the shots
not going down, not the selection. Interestingly, every single player
took at least one three point shot. But State was able to zone Duke into
taking more threes than they probably wanted to, and it wasn't until
Tillis sank a couple of late ones that the Devils were able to put State

2. Turnovers. Currie's 5 turnovers and Beard's 3 were mostly careless
errors. State isn't a running team so they didn't quickly take
advantage, but they do tend to shorten games and possessions with their
more deliberate style, so every possession is precious.

** Positives:

1. Rebounding. Five players had 6 or more rebounds. Three players had
multiple offensive rebounds. The bench alone came up with 12 rebounds,
more than making up for their lack of scoring. There was simply a
commitment to rebounding against one of the better boarding clubs in the

2. Post defense. This was a huge key. Even without Moody in there,
Whitley had to control Chones, and did reasonably well. Chones had 17
points and 8 rebounds to lead her team, but wasn't as dominant as she was
against UNC.

3. Getting to the foul line. This was a big key to Duke's win. Their
22 attempts came from quickness and toughness, pure and simple. And
hitting 19-22 for the game just speaks for itself, including hitting
their last 8.


** Whitley: A quietly sound game for Wynter, who certainly had some big
plays. Her drive in the first half helped wake up a stagnant offense
while her post-up in the second half for a three point play gave Duke a 4
point lead. It was also important to see her get 5 boards, 4 in the
first half as Duke was shutting State down every time. Wynter is
actually quite a versatile player--not at the level of Tillis, but she's
more than just a post player. Yet she's taken on the role of defensive
stopper with enthusiasm and has done it well. Wynter has eventual star
potential but is embracing being a role player for the good of the team.

** Tillis: Bided her time on offense in the first half as she had to sit
for a bit with 2 fouls, but exploded for 12 points in the last seven
minutes of the game. With Beard taken out of the equation, Tillis really
stepped up on offense, using the quickness and ballhandling ability that
make her the Human Matchup Problem. She was 7-13 in the second half with
3 rebounds, 2 steals and a block--simply everywhere. She had a solid 6
boards and wound up with 5 steals overall, mostly from using her
quickness to dart into passing lanes. With the way this Duke team
overplays on the wings, it's very dangerous to try to force passes,
because that starts up the Duke transition game. The beauty of her game
on offense is that she can score from anywhere on the court, including in
the post. She still needs a reliable hook shot for shots at odd angles
around the basket, but her turnaround jumper and face-up game are
looking smoother than ever. And her defense is really improving at a
one-on-one level. Iciss has really matured and blossomed this year, and
hitting two absolutely clutch and daring shots at the end has to boost
not only her own confidence, but the team's confidence in her.

** Beard: A spectacular first half led State to make her little more than
a decoy in the second half. Going 7-12 in the first half as well as 6-6
from the line made her a marked woman. The ball simply hardly touched
her hands in the second half, but everyone went with the flow that saw
good Duke players get good attempts. Oddly, she didn't have a single
steal, which is the first time in quite a while where this was true. But
Alana was all about offense in this game, where she scored 13 points in
about eight minutes. It must be noted that while she was shut down in
the second half due to Simpson's face-guarding, Simpson was too busy to
do any scoring of her own. She scored just 2 points after starting out
hot with 8. Alana has around 800 points right now in her career, and has
a good shot of hitting 1000 before the season's done. That would be
unprecedented for a Duke player, but then Alana is a "break-the-mold"
kind of person.

** Currie: An erratic game that featured more misses than makes and more
turnovers than assists, but when the team really needed her down the
stretch, she came through. Her key rebound and subsequent free throws
saved the game for Duke. Most of her scoring came off penetration or
offensive rebounds as her jumper wasn't falling. Mo also was tremendous
on the boards, leading the team with 7, including 3 offensive. She
sometimes gets out of control, but is usually trying to make a play when
she does. This means turnovers aren't unusual here, but hopefully she'll
focus a bit better. While she did have more turnovers than assists, she
did have an impressive 4 assists, second on the team. And most of them
were to Beard, including that impressive pass that led to a three right
before the half ended. Mo is clearly very comfortable in the offense now.

** Krapohl: A quiet game where she simply did her job. She hit a three
early on to allow her to operate unmolested, and made a crucial pass to
Tillis which put Duke on top for good. More importantly, Vicki had 0
turnovers and came up with a steal.

** Mosch: My favorite stat for Sheana is that she led the team in assists
with 5. She did a fine job of getting the ball into Tillis, especially
on the pass the led to the game-winning three. But she also helped to
pick up Beard's slack in the second half, hitting both field goals and 4
foul shots. And she did them at the most important times: every shot she
hit in the second half either broke a tie or brought Duke from behind to
take a lead. That is clutch play defined. I'm really beginning to think
that coming in off the bench suits her, because she's played well in
the role of "instant offense." If nothing else, it encourages her to
look for her shot when she comes into the game. Her performance wasn't
dominant like Beard's or Tillis', but it was just as important to
establish a third consistent threat in this game, especially in the

** Matyasovksy: Mattie's line doesn't look all that glamorous with an
0-4 mark from the floor, but her 5 first half rebounds were absolutely
crucial to Duke controlling the pace of the game. Her boards came not
from strength but positioning and quickness, her two real advantages in
the post. Even though she didn't hit a shot, I liked the versatility in
her game, taking 2 threes as well as a half-hook in the lane. She was an
important part of Duke's 50 bench minutes that allowed no starter save
Beard to play more than 29 minutes.

** Gingrich: Again, despite shooting 0-2, Krista had a superb floor game
and was even better on defense. She had 3 impressive rebounds that she
turned into fast breaks, picked up a a couple of assists from those
breaks, and came up with a big steal. KG also had no turnovers, and
impressive showing for Duke's official point guards. She didn't force
her shot and instead did a good job of looking for her teammates.

** Next Game: Sunday, January 20th against Virginia in Cameron. The game
will be on ESPN2 at 1:00pm, so fans will be able to check them out. The
Hoos are a very young but steadily improving team that managed to beat
State. This will be a dangerous game as Duke is preparing to play UNC;
overlooking a UVa team with Telisha Quarles, Brandi Teamer and LaTonya
Blue would be a big mistake.