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Blue Devils Top Tigers in ACC Showdown, 77-53

Blue Devils Top Tigers in ACC Showdown, 77-53

Feb. 13, 2009

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Chante Black and Krystal Thomas scored 16 points apiece and fourth-ranked Duke beat Clemson 77-53 on Friday night to secure its 12th consecutive 20-win season.

Carrem Gay added 10 points for the Blue Devils (20-3, 8-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who bounced back from a loss at North Carolina on Monday and remained a game behind Florida State in a tight conference race.

Sthefany Thomas scored 18 points for the Tigers (13-13, 2-9), who have lost six consecutive ACC games and six of seven overall.

Duke’s Abby Waner broke Georgia Schweitzer’s school record for 3-pointers made, connecting on the 203rd of her four-year career with 14:23 remaining in the first half. It gave the Blue Devils their first double-digit lead at 19-8 and came during a 30-11 half-ending run that for a 44-19 advantage at the break.

Clemson didn’t get closer than 20 in the second half.

Using a combination of full- and half-court traps, the Blue Devils forced Clemson into 23 turnovers. The Tigers committed 16 during the first half, resulting in 20 Duke points.

Clemson shot 36.5 percent compared to 40 percent for Duke.

It was the defensive effort the Blue Devils were looking for after giving up 50 points in the second half of their 75-60 loss to the Tar Heels, their worst defensive half of the season.

Duke had 11 of its 12 steals in the first half and held an opponent to 22 points or fewer in the first half for the 11th time to remain perfect at home, 12-0, and win its 12th straight over the Tigers.

The Blue Devils shut down Clemson leading scorer Lele Hardy, who averages 17.3 points. During the first half, Hardy shot 0-for-4 and committed four turnovers before finishing with five points.

Leading 14-8, Duke scored on six consecutive possessions while Clemson turned the ball over on four of six possessions. Gay’s jumper gave Duke a 20-point lead, 32-12, and little-used Kathleen Scheer’s 3-pointer made it 44-14.

Waner had two 3-pointers and eight points to go with five steals. Bridgette Mitchell added eight points and nine rebounds.

Karima Christmas, Duke’s third-leading scorer in ACC play, missed the game after suffering a concussion against North Carolina. She passed a test Friday and was cleared to resume contact drills on Sunday.