Jasmine Thomas scores 15, leads Duke past LSU 60-52 in 2nd round of NCAAsBy Joedy Mccreary, AP
Monday, March 22, 2010
Thomas leads Duke to win against LSU in 2nd round
DURHAM, N.C. — Duke spent the night playing takeaway with LSU — first the ball, then the game.
Jasmine Thomas scored 15 points to help Duke pull away late and beat LSU 60-52 on Monday night in the second round of the NCAA women’s tournament.
Bridgette Mitchell scored 12 points for the Blue Devils (29-5), who went ahead to stay on Thomas’ layup with 3½ minutes left. The typically sure-handed Tigers (21-10) matched a season high with 22 turnovers and had one field goal in the final 4 minutes.
Allison Hightower had 19 points and LaSondra Barrett added 12 for LSU (21-10). Katherine Graham hit two free throws with 3:49 left to give the Tigers their last lead at 47-46.
Thomas drove the lane for a left-handed layup, and Keturah Jackson added a stickback to start the 10-2 run that put the Blue Devils on their way to their 12th regional semifinal berth in 13 years. They’re headed to Memphis next weekend, when they will face the winner of Tuesday night’s San Diego State-West Virginia game.
By winning this matchup of programs that have combined for nine Final Fours since 1999, the Blue Devils extended their winning streak in tournament games at Cameron Indoor Stadium to 14 and improved to 30-1 on their home court during the past two seasons.
Duke also matched a school record set a decade ago with its 16th home win of the season, and improved to 21-0 when holding its opponent to fewer than 60 points.
Courtney Jones added 11 points for LSU, which was denied its 13th trip to the round of 16 and was playing a tournament game on its opponent’s home court for the first time since a loss at Colorado in 2002.
Neither team led by more than five points in the second half until Karima Christmas capped Duke’s decisive run with two free throws that made it 56-49 with 22.7 seconds left. Jones’ 3-pointer with 16 seconds left was the Tigers’ only basket down the stretch.
This was billed as a matchup of two of the nation’s stingiest defenses, with both schools ranking in the top 20 in scoring defense, and they took away the strengths of the opposing offenses throughout.
The Tigers, whose average of 12½ turnovers per game ranked No. 2 nationally, turned it over 13 times in the first half but kept the Blue Devils off the offensive glass. The Blue Devils, who entered with the seventh-best rebounding margin in Division I, had just three offensive boards in the first half and allowed the Tigers to shoot 52 percent before the break — their worst defensive half of the season.
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