The Duke women’s basketball team survived upset-minded Wake Forest, with an 81-70 victory. The win came at a price, as All-American candidate Chelsea Gray left with 8:07 to go in the first half with a knee injury (which looked ugly). It was the Blue Devils 39th straight win over the Demon Deacons, as they stayed perfect in the ACC.
The Blue Devils were sluggish to start, as Wake just kept pushing the tempo and scoring at will. Allison Vernerey (with her dad and little sister in attendance from France) scored Duke’s first points with 16:15 left in the first half. Then Duke went on a 15-3 run to take their first lead with 11:40 to go in the first half.
Duke looked like they were going to pull away in the second half, but Lakevia Boykin finally got hot. Wake tied the game at 52-52 with 11 minutes to go and again at 64-64 with five minutes to go. Boykin scored 13 straight points.
But it was too much Tricia Liston off the bench and Duke made their free throws. Liston scored a career- high 29 points on 8-of-12 shooting. She also hauled in nine rebounds. Duke made 24-of-29 free throws compared to 6-of-9 for Wake.
Duke also won the battle on the boards, out-rebounding Wake, 41-29, despite the fact that Sandra Garcia and Asia Williams each hauled in ten rebounds.
Haley Peters finished with a double-double: 13 points and 12 rebounds. She also dished out three assists. Elizabeth Williams, who struggled for much of the game, finished with 11 points and five rebounds. Richa Jackson found her stroke off the bench and finished with eight points and four rebounds.
Garcia led the Demon Deacons attack in the first half, as she scored eight of her 12 points before halftime. Chelsea Douglas finished with a career-high 24 points.
Next up for Duke is a home game versus Florida State on Friday. The Seminoles are coming off a win at home against North Carolina today. The Blue Devils finish out the season with four games against the four teams directly behind them in the ACC standings (and possibly without Gray).
*This game was a “Play 4 Kay” game, as both teams had pink in their uniforms. Also, both head coaches were shoe-less, going barefoot for Samaritan Feet.