Elizabeth Williams and No. 4 Duke stayed perfect by blowing out
the one opponent they always seem to beat.
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,”
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
”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.
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