Elizabeth Williams and No. 4 Duke stayed perfect by blowing out the one opponent they always seem to beat.WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -
Williams scored 18 points in the Blue Devils' 73-44 rout of Wake Forest on Sunday - their 38th straight victory in the series.
Richa Jackson added 10 points and Chloe Wells matched a season best with 10 points for the Blue Devils (15-0, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who forced 23 turnovers, turned them into 26 points and outscored Wake Forest 40-22 in the second half.
Duke shot 48 percent to remain the only Division I team - men's or women's - with a perfect record. The Blue Devils haven't had a game decided by fewer than 10 points.
"Every day, we're just striving to get better, and I think playing in the ACC, it's exciting for us to come out and play against some strong competition and keep getting those wins," Williams said.
Lakevia Boykin scored 12 points and Dearica Hamby finished with 11 to lead the Demon Deacons (9-7, 2-2). They were coming off an upset at No. 18 Florida State three days earlier but were denied their first victory over Duke since 1993.
"We just got in that drought and we weren't able to get defensive stops when we needed it, turned the ball over ... and just pushing through when they make a run," Boykin said. "We have to respond and make a run of our own. We went through too long of a drought without scoring, and the game got away from us."
Duke's streak in this one-sided intrastate series is tied for the third-longest in the nation among women's programs in the same conference. The Blue Devils trail only Stanford, which has beaten Washington State 53 straight times, and UCSB, which owns 39 consecutive victories over Cal State-Fullerton.
Williams insisted she was unaware of Duke's streak.
"It's just exciting to play in the ACC and an instate rivalry is always exciting," Williams said.
The Blue Devils led for all of about 2 1/2 minutes of this one and spent the afternoon gradually increasing their lead. They used a run of 10 straight points to take their first double-figure lead with roughly 1 1/2 minutes left in the half, then pushed it into the 20s midway through the second half.
The backbreaking stretch came with about 12 minutes to play when the Demon Deacons cut their deficit to 49-35. Wells and Tricia Liston hit 3-pointers roughly 30 seconds apart, and two possessions later, Williams put back her own miss to stretch it to 57-37 with just under 10 minutes left.
Wake Forest never got closer than 17 the rest of the way, and Wells' jumper with just over 4 minutes left pushed the lead to 72-42.
"We weren't able to make that run that we needed to counter theirs," first-year Wake Forest coach Jen Hoover said.
Williams reached double figures for the 12th time this season while Jackson finished with just her second double-figure performance since returning from a knee injury that ended her 2011-12 season early.
"I loved Chloe and Richa off the bench ... just their poise and confidence," coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "They know what's going on out there, so we don't lose anything. You're looking at a team that's very seriously seven or eight deep in terms of not losing anything and also bringing a lot of confidence. We're trying to build on that."
Duke led 33-22 after a first half in which they forced 14 turnovers from a Wake Forest team that averages 17 per game and went on to finish one giveaway shy of its season-high 24.