Vernerey’s fast start helps 8th-ranked Blue Devils roll past North Carolina State 70-39By Aaron Beard, AP
Thursday, February 11, 2010
8th-ranked Duke blows past NC State 70-39
DURHAM, N.C. — Freshman Allison Vernerey scored 16 of her season-high 20 points in the first half to help No. 8 Duke beat North Carolina State 70-39 on Thursday night.
Vernerey had 16 points on 7-for-8 shooting in the first 20 minutes for the Blue Devils (20-4, 8-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), including a run of eight straight points that helped Duke build a big early lead. Duke ran out to a 14-2 lead against the overmatched Wolfpack (13-11, 3-6), leading by 20 points before the half was even over and by more than 30 late.
The Blue Devils shot 47 percent and dominated the boards just as they did in Monday night’s rout of another nearby rival, North Carolina. Duke finished with a 47-27 rebounding advantage, including 17 on the offensive end that led to 15 second-chance points.
Duke has won five of six since a home loss to top-ranked Connecticut.
N.C. State, meanwhile, didn’t score its first field goal for nearly 7 minutes and shot just 24 percent in coach Kellie Harper’s first game against the Blue Devils. Freshman Marissa Kastanek overcame a nightmarish start to finish with 14 points for the Wolfpack, but leading scorer and rebounder Bonae Holston had just two points on 1-for-9 shooting.
N.C. State finished with a season low point total, falling for the sixth time in seven games.
Perhaps the biggest thing Harper could take from the loss was the fact that her team didn’t quit despite trailing big all night. In fact, the Wolfpack clawed within 13 points midway through the second half on a 3-pointer and a lay-up from Kastanek, but Duke answered with an 8-0 run that included a pair of baskets from Vernerey to push the margin back above 20.
Vernerey, a 6-foot-5 center who had seven of her 10 rebounds on the offensive end, is in the middle of a memorable week. She had 10 points and six rebounds against the Tar Heels in her first career start, then got off to a fast start in the paint Thursday. She scored the game’s first basket less than a minute in, capping a possession in which Duke got four shots thanks to its work on the offensive glass.
A few minutes later, Vernerey scored inside and got fouled. She missed the free throw but ended up with the loose rebound and soon got fouled again, sending her back to the line where she made both shots. By the time she scored on consecutive possessions with about 6½ minutes left in the half, she had surpassed her previous high of 13 points and Duke led 26-10.
Shay Selby and Bridgette Mitchell each added 10 points for Duke, which wore pink-trimmed white uniforms as part of a breast cancer awareness effort.