Elizabeth Williams poured in 21 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high nine assists as 15th-ranked Duke cruised past Clemson, 89-60, Sunday in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Three other Blue Devils joined Williams in double-figure scoring, sending the squad to 18-6 on the season and 9-2 in ACC action.DURHAM, N.C. – Senior
Redshirt freshman Rebecca Greenwell connected on three treys in a 19-point performance, while freshman Azurá Stevens added 17 points and eight rebounds and sophomore Kendall Cooper registered 11 points and seven boards. Duke outscored the visiting Tigers 44-12 in the paint for the contest and recorded assists on 24 of 31 total field goals.
“Just a good game for us to get better today,” said head coach Joanne P. McCallie. “I really appreciated the crowd; it was a great environment for us. Twenty-four assists is a good thing. Good to have assists and lower turnovers. Obviously Elizabeth’s [Williams] game was superb and very, very strong. I think it’s not so much the statistics, it’s the energy. When Elizabeth plays with that kind of energy, I think it bleeds over to the rest of the team.”
Early three-point baskets by senior Ka’lia Johnson and Greenwell propelled the Blue Devils to a quick 13-3 advantage. The home squad extended its game-opening run to 21-4 at the free throw line and on the strength of 54 percent shooting from the floor. Duke also tallied 12 points off of Clemson turnovers in the first eight minutes of play.
Cooper, starting in place of injured classmate Oderah Chidom, accounted for eight points and two rebounds by the halfway point of the first period. Williams and Greenwell both reached double-figures in the scoring column a short while later to pace the Blue Devils to a 20-point lead.
“Kendall [Cooper] was another great example of energy,” McCallie said. “Playing hard, playing aggressive, getting rebounds and looking to score. We had a good day in the post and are trying to get better as a team.”
The Tigers responded with a pair of treys by Shelbie Davenport and Tiffany Lewis, but Duke weathered a tough shooting stretch to maintain a 46-31 lead at the end of the first half.
The Blue Devils held Clemson without a field goal for the first four and a half minutes of the second period. The solid defensive play allowed Duke to push the margin over 20 points, with Stevens chipping in double-figure scoring on the other end of the court.
Williams secured her seventh double-double of the season with 9:37 remaining. The Tigers struggled from field over the next stretch but picked up a few points at the free throw line. However, the Blue Devils continued to dominate in the paint, and rattled off 12 unanswered points to make it 76-42 at the 7:05 mark.
The final minutes of the contest saw Clemson narrow the gap to less than 30, but Duke went on to claim its fifth consecutive win.
The Blue Devils shot 51 percent from the floor on the day to 35-percent shooting by the Tigers. Clemson went 15-of-19 (79 percent) at the free throw line, and was led in scoring by senior Nikki Dixon’s 17 points.
Up next, Duke begins a four-game road stretch at Virginia Thursday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.