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Duke Downs Temple In A Tough One, 62-52

In a gritty and physical battle, Duke used a rugged defense and just enough offense to beat Temple 62-52. While Duke did not play at the top of their game, it was the sort of contest that every contender seems to face at least once in March. Despite the Devils leading nearly all the game, Temple refused to quit. Led by their indomitable coach, Dawn Staley, the Owls cut the Duke lead to 51-46.0 However, the Devils cooly responded with a 9-0 run to put the game on ice.The game was not a pretty one. Neither team shot the ball well, and play was marred by a combined 36 turnovers. However, Temple did what it had to do to stay competitive, namely, turn it into an ugly, grind-it-out sort of game. In the end, Duke simply had too much talent. The game ball goes to Carrem Gay, who gave Duke a shot in the arm with 13 points and 10 boards. She was one of the few Devils scrapping on the offensive boards, grabbing five of the team's fifteen. Lindsey Harding started out on fire, scoring 13 in the first half, but was noticeably slowed by the Temple defense in the second half. The Devils' other senior leader, Alison Bales, was outplayed by the Owls' Lady Comfort, and must be more aggressive (and effective) offensively later in the tournament. Abby Waner was hampered by foul trouble and was clearly targeted by Temple's defense, getting off only five shots. At other times during the year, Abby may have become frustrated by her lack of offensive involvement. This time, Abby kept her focus and found other ways to contribute, showing her growth as a player.

Duke will now face Rutgers in the Sweet Sixteen. The Devils embarrassed Rutgers by forty points in New Jersey earlier in the year, so the Scarlet Knights will not need any extra motivation. Look for the Devils to have another battle on their hands. In other region news, a potential roadblock to a Final Four appearance was removed when #2 seed Vanderbilt was knocked off by Bowling Green. It follows a trend of #2 seeds getting upset early in this tournament, as Stanford and defending champion Maryland have also been eliminated.

Duke pulls away from Temple

Harding gets hot, Team USA invite