Elizabeth Williams has been working her way back from a spring stress fracture in her lower right leg all season long.DURHAM, N.C. –
She looked to be back in top form again the way she played Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-3 sophomore scored 20 points to lead a sluggish offensive effort, keeping No. 4 Duke unbeaten with a 58-26 rout of Virginia Tech.
The Blue Devils (16-0, 5-0 ACC), who are the only undefeated team left in Division I basketball, have won 18 straight in the series, the last eight all by double digits.
"I think Elizabeth is coming back strong," Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "It's a long road, but it was great to see her the way she was. She was scoring with two people hanging on her arms, and finishing and getting to the free-throw line."
Williams, who had her fourth 20-point game of the season, finished with eight rebounds. Chelsea Gray chipped in 12 points and tied her career high with seven steals, while Haley Peters had five points to go with 10 rebounds.
Monet Tellier led the Hokies (7-10, 1-5) with 10 points. Ugu Ugoka had four points-on 2-for-13 shooting-and nine rebounds.
"Obviously we need to play better on offense if we're going to be in a game against a team as good as this," said Tech's second-year head coach Dennis Wolff, whose team had lost its previous game 74-45 to No. 10 Maryland on Sunday. "I thought for the first 12-15 minutes we competed pretty good, and it has happened to us that when it unravels it totally unravels. The turnovers that led to baskets had some of our younger kids looking shell-shocked."
Duke's next game is on Monday night at No. 3 Connecticut.
The Blue Devils have won 33 straight home games against ACC opposition. It was Duke's lowest scoring output of the season and worst shooting night, and its eight assists were a season low.
Virginia Tech, which lost by its largest margin of the season, was 1-for-10 from the free-throw line.
"It was a really great defensive game to hold them to a low of 26 and force 27 turnovers," McCallie said. "19 steals, that was good. We saw some good shooting by Elizabeth and Chelsea, but then from there there was a lack of concentration across the board. Offensively we had very weak numbers, and that's why you play defense.
Duke led 29-12 at halftime behind 11 points from Williams.
"I'm feeling really good," said Williams, who is from Virginia Beach. "Like Coach said, being able to finish with contact is a big thing for me right now. Getting to the line and being able to do that was nice. Any ACC game is motivating for me."
The Blue Devils never trailed, with Williams' three-point play with 16:28 left in the first half making it 5-2 and starting a 7-0 run.
Tellier's 3-pointer at 10:02 cut the advantage to 16-12, but Duke ran off the last 13 points of the half.
Using a stifling full-court press the Blue Devils scored the first nine points of the second half, five from Williams, before a Hokie timeout at 17:51.
Duke scored 24 straight points before Tech freshman Alexis Lloyd, who didn't play in the first half, hit a short jumper to make it 40-14 with 17:19 left.