clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Duke Squelches Tulsa and Other News

Duke 90, Tulsa 36. December 21, 2002. Reynolds Center.

I was a bit concerned with the Tulsa game. On Duke's end, it was their
third game in five days, and they were down to just nine players with
Brooke Smith's minor injury. It was possible that there might be a bit of
a letdown after whipping a very good FIU team. The distractions
surrounding Iciss Tillis and her return to her hometown (the arena is
literally 15 minutes away from her house) were also a concern. In
addition, this was Duke's first true road game, against a team that was
not a patsy. Tulsa had played Oklahoma to within 4 points, and this is
before Caton Hill was injured for the Sooners. They also gave Arkansas a
tough game before losing by 17 points, and defeated Big 12 foe Oklahoma
State. They were led by guard Allison Curtin, the 5th leading scorer in
the nation. She had gone over 30 points on five different occasions.

Instead of having problems with the Golden Hurricane, Duke set records.
Their presence set attendance records for Tulsa. Duke forced a record 35
turnovers for Tulsa. And they throttled the Hurricane by 54 points, the
largest margin of victory against Tulsa ever. Duke did it with pressure
defense, which has improved from game to game as the younger players
understand its importance and the various traps and schemes that Coach G
likes to employ. Nine players were in action for Duke, and all nine had
at least 1 steal. Four players had at least 3 steals, with Beard leading
the way at 7. Curtin managed just 16 points on 15 assists, mostly because
she was busy turning the ball over 13 times due to the intense pressure
applied to her. Truly a dubious double-double.

Duke broke out to an 11-0 lead thanks to threes from Alana Beard,
Michele Matyasovsky and Vicki Krapohl, along with a Beard tip-in of a
Mistie Bass miss. Meanwhile, Tulsa turned the ball over on their first 8
possessions, with Curtin being charged for 3 of them. Tillis missed her
first couple of shots pretty badly due to jitters and excitement over her
day, but she rebounded her own miss and was on fire after that. Curtin
scored 4 points to make it 16-6 Duke, but a three from Beard and a cut
from Tillis made it 21-6 with twelve minutes to go in the half. Curtin
would score another 4 points, but short jumpers by Harding & Tillis as
well as a steal & runout by Beard and a three point play by Mosch pushed
the lead to 30-10. Nothing Tulsa was doing could slow Duke down. They
had gone zone early on in an effort to limit Duke's penetration and the
post presence of Bass, but the result was a barrage of threes. When they
switched to man, Beard & Mosch took them to the hole.

Duke was getting plenty of second chances as well, with Jess Foley
scoring after Bass had missed a couple in a row. Tulsa did have a chance
to get back into the game late in the first half when Duke missed 6
straight shots and turned the ball over twice, but Tulsa responded by
missing 3 shots and turning the ball over twice. When Mattie hit another three and Harding stuck back her own miss, that was pretty much it for
Tulsa. Tillis followed up a Mosch steal by sticking a three, and soon the
score ballooned to 44-15. Sloppy play down the stretch of the first half
prevented Duke from extending the lead any further, settling for a 44-17
halftime score. Curtin had 12 of her team's 17 points.

Tillis had 2 early threes in the second half to give Duke an early boost
and push their lead to 54-21. Curtin had 4 free throws early on but would
not score again, despite playing for 38 minutes. Beard, Tillis and Mosch
would continue to apply pressure and get easy scores and three point plays
in transition. With Curtin shut down, Tulsa was helpless and only scored
4 points in the game's last nine minutes. Meanwhile, Beard continued to
go to work, scoring 8 straight points, mostly on steals and in transition.

The most impressive thing about this game was Duke's overwhelming
defensive pressure. They knew exactly whom to pressure and when. Tulsa
was simply unable to deal with it. Even when Duke wasn't scoring (and
they missed a lot of shots, only hitting 43% for the game), they were
playing tough defense (Tulsa shot 28%) and generating turnovers. Duke got
plenty of second chances thanks to 25 offensive rebounds and held Tulsa to
just 8 o-boards. Duke proved that they can dominate even when shots
aren't falling, and have significantly improved as a team over the last
couple of weeks. Iowa State will be a decent test as a very good three
point shooting team, though Duke must be careful to avoid the "vacation
mentality" that hurt them a bit in the Virgin Islands.

I'm forgoing the player-by-player section this time since I didn't see
the game in person, but I do have a few links to pass along. In lieu of
doing Secret Santa gifts this year, the team opted to adopt a Durham family. Note that Alana is wearing a "Krapohl
Auto" t-shirt. also has a little feature on new assistant
coach LaVonda Wagner, who is a sheer delight to listen to on the
post-game radio shows. The team has a little photo gallery related to their Tulsa trip. Duke has set a
new record in sales of season tickets, a crucial element of the program. A
little bird told me that Duke has sold out of general admission tickets
for the Duke-UConn showdown on February 1, though there may be some others
available soon. Go here for more ticket info.