FRANCONVILLE, France – In the opening contest of the DWB European Tour, the Duke women’s basketball team cruised to a 107-48 victory over BC Franconville on Wednesday afternoon at the Gymnase CSL in Franconville, France.
“I thought it was really great, considering our legs and travel,” commented Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie. “It was fantastic for our team to come out and score as many points as we did and have fun doing that, but yet defend as well. The six people in double-figures was a highlight as so many people were productive on the court.”
Leading all scorers was Blue Devil junior All-America, Chelsea Gray, with 21 points, while Tricia Liston added 18 points and Haley Peters totaled a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
The Blue Devils jumped out to a 32-18 lead in the first quarter and outscored Franconville 25-12 in the second to build a 27-point lead.
At the half, Duke held a 57-30 lead behind 12 points each from Gray, Peters and Allison Vernerey. Vernerey, who is playing in her home country of France, hit all five of her field goal attempts for the contest. The Blue Devils hit 61.5 percent of their field goals in the first half, while holding Franconville to 28.1 percent.
Duke closed the contest on a 27-0 run in the fourth quarter to finish with a 59-point victory. Franconville hit only two field goals in the fourth quarter and did not score over the final 8:06 of the period.
As a team, Duke hit 57.9 percent from the field for the contest and held Franconville to 25.4 percent. Leading scorers for Franconville was Nelanie Behey with 16 points and Giana Gandega with 13. Along with her 21 points, Gray chipped in a game-high six assists, four rebounds and four steals.
Six Blue Devils scored double-figures on the afternoon – Gray (21), Peters (16), Liston (18), Alexis Jones (12), freshman Katie Heckman (14) and Vernerey (12). Ka’lia Johnson, a sophomore from Chester, Va., added seven points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. As a team, Duke dished 23 assists, had 19 steals and outrebounded Franconville by 19. The Blue Devils forced 28 turnovers.
A product of Alsace, France, Vernerey finished with 12 points, four rebounds, one block, one assist and one steal in 29 minutes. She hit 5-of-8 field goals.
“Today was against a level three team – not a great team -- and we will face a much tougher opponent on Friday night,” commented McCallie. “But it was a good start today though.”
The Blue Devils will next play Mondeville on Friday, Aug. 17 in Deauville, France.