DURHAM, N.C. — Duke looked to be in plenty of trouble early in its game with Miami on Thursday night.
But a massive second-half run erased all of that, and the No. 5 Blue Devils won going away.
Tricia Liston scored 17 points, Chelsea Gray added 16 and freshman guard Alexis Jones had 10 points with 10 rebounds for her first career double-double in an 82-43 rout of the Hurricanes.
Miami led 33-31 following a layup from Shawnice Wilson with 18:17 left before the Blue Devils (19-1, 9-0 ACC) scored 20 straight points coming from five different players. Wilson hit two free throws with 12:14 left but that’s as close as Miami got.
“It was just a great second half for us,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “We were playing more of our game, inside and out, attacking. I didn’t think the first half was necessarily bad. I just think we took too many quick shots and put ourselves in position where we were running back on defense too many times.
“Our transition defense was a little suspect. But I’m proud of the second half. That’s the direction we have to move.”
Elizabeth Williams added 12 points and Haley Peters 10 to give the Blue Devils five players in double figures. Duke shot 57.1 percent in the second half.
“I think our defense was playing well (in the second half), especially with Chelsea on the steals that started the fast break,” said Liston, who came off the bench eight minutes into the game and had nine points at the half. “Once we got one it kind of sparked everyone and it pretty much kept going from there.”
Krystal Saunders scored 15 points, all on five first-half 3-pointers, to lead Miami (14-7, 5-5). Wilson added eight points and eight rebounds.
Duke shot 50.0 percent from the floor to Miami’s 27.4, won the rebound battle 46-37 and committed 15 turnovers to the Hurricanes’ 22.
The Hurricanes, coached by former Duke standout Katie Meier in her eighth season at the helm, are winless in 10 tries against the Blue Devils. The 39 points were Duke’s largest victory margin in the series.
“I don’t think we competed in the entire game,” Meier said. “I thought in the first half we just caught Duke flat. We had a great performance by Krystal Saunders to keep us in it, but I still didn’t like how we were competing. I didn’t think we were physical enough.”
Duke has won 35 straight games against ACC opponents in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The win was Duke’s third in a row since its only loss at Connecticut, while Miami has lost two straight.
Miami had led 8-0 and 16-8 in the early going before the Blue Devils found their rhythm.
“We were being more aggressive and reading each other and talking,” Gray said. “That was key. If they were setting screens we had to know who was helping off. That was good.”
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