DURHAM, N.C. - Sophomores Chelsea Gray and Chloe Wells scored 18 points each while freshman Elizabeth Williams added 17 in a 79-52 victory over Lander Sunday in Duke's final exhibition game of the 2011-12 season.
Duke controlled the pace of the game from the opening tip, jumping out to a 20-9 lead in the first eight minutes of play. The Blue Devils also applied strong defensive pressure in the early going, forcing six turnovers while notching six steals and four blocks.
The teams would trade baskets over the next few minutes, with Kami Phillips and Jasmine Judge leading the charge for Lander, combining for 11 of the Bearcats' first 20 points. However, Duke maintained a double-digit lead throughout the first half, receiving scoring contributions from a variety of players and grabbing rebounds on both ends of the floor.
The Blue Devils also used size to their advantage, with freshman Elizabeth Williams providing a strong presence inside. Williams finished the first half with 13 points and four blocks, while sophomore Chloe Wells added eight first-half points to go with three assists and two steals as Duke took a 43-29 advantage into the locker room at the break. Sophomore Haley Peters led the Blue Devils on the glass, grabbing seven boards as Duke outrebounded Lander, 24-14, in the first period.
As a team, Duke shot 48.6 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes of play while holding Lander to just 35.5 percent. However, the Lady Bearcats used a 6-for-12 shooting effort from behind the arc to stay in the game. Judge provided the spark from the perimeter, recording a 4-for-5 three-point shooting performance for 12 first-half points.
In the second half, the Blue Devils stretched their lead to 21 points as Wells scored on three-straight trips down the floor. Sophomore Chelsea Gray also contributed sharp shooting, reaching double-figure scoring during the second period while reaching five total assists.
Duke also took advantage of its trips to the free throw line in the second half, hitting 4-for-8 from the charity stripe. The Blue Devils continued to click offensively, cruising to a 79-52 victory. Gray and Wells paced the squad in the second half with 10 points each. Both players finished with a team-high 180020while combining for nine assists and five steals.
"It was a good day for us to learn, to get better and play hard," said head coach Joanne P. McCallie. "I thought Chelsea [Gray] and Chloe [Wells] were attacking and learning to get the team in order. I thought their production was very, very important to us today."
Williams added 17 points and a game-high five blocks, while sophomore Tricia Liston came off the bench to post six points and five rebounds. Duke shot 45.7 percent from the field in the win, scoring 30 points off of turnovers. The Blue Devils also had the advantage on the boards, outrebounding Lander 46-30.
Judge led the Lady Bearcats with a game-high 24 points on 8-for-10 shooting from three-point range. Phillips and Janyce Ealey added five points each as Lander shot 36.5 percent from the floor.
The Blue Devils open the 2011-12 regular season on Friday, Nov. 11 at BYU. Game time is scheduled for 9 p.m.
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