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Duke Blows Out Austin Peay, 74-31

Now 9-1, we’re seeing a pattern in Duke’s wins.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: NOV 20 Women’s Duke at Toledo
TOLEDO, OH - NOVEMBER 20: Duke Blue Devils center Kennedy Brown (21) puts up a shot during a regular season non-conference womens college basketball game between the Duke Blue Devils and the Toledo Rockets on November 20, 2022 at Savage Arena in Toledo, Ohio.
Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When you see women’s teams blowing other teams out, you have to pause for a minute and realize that parity on the women’s side is not (yet) what it is on the men’s side. Massive blowouts are still fairly common, especially at this time of year, when buy games and exam breaks end up with major mismatches.

But in Duke’s case, you have to start paying attention, and specifically because of Duke’s defense.

Duke is 9-1, having lost to UConn 78-50. . The losing opponents have scored 57, 50, 37, 52, 41, 41, 50, 49 and 31.

That’s become a meaningful pattern and Duke did it again Thursday, beating Austin Peay 74-31.

The Blue Devils jumped out to an 18-0 lead and just cruised from there. Austin Peay didn’t get on the board until the second quarter and never really got into the game.

The Blue Devils forced an insane 29 turnovers and won the boards handily, 39 overall and 11 offensive to 22/4.

Here’s one measure of how bad it was: Duke hit just 1-10 from three point range and still won by 43.

You have to keep parity in mind, but as we say, there is a pattern now.

It’s hard to tell how Duke will do in conference play - Virginia is undefeated, Notre Dame is ranked #5, Virginia Tech #7, NC State #8 and nobody has a losing record as of now.

Duke has work to do, as every one does - coach Kara Lawson pointed to offense as an area that really needs improvement: “We just were not very fluid offensively; the ball was sticking; we were forcing passes and trying to force plays when the easy play was available, and the easy pass was available. In transition, our conversion was not very good when we had two-on-ones, when we had three-on-twos. Areas that we need to improve. I thought we were better in those areas against Richmond, but we took a little step back tonight. So, we will look to iron those out.”

Still, if you wanted to find something that you could count on to project through conference play, you could do a lot worse than consistently solid defense.