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Photo courtesy of Lynn Hey for theACC.com
Consistent offense, stout defense carry Duke to victory
Greensboro, N.C. (AP) - Elizabeth Williams scored 15 points and blocked five shots, and No. 10 Duke claimed its 37th straight win over Georgia Tech with an 82-52 victory Friday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference quarterfinals.
Haley Peters had 19 points, and Tricia Liston added 15 along with her school-record-tying 80th 3-pointer of the season for the second-seeded Blue Devils (26-5).
They shot 53 percent, held the seventh-seeded Yellow Jackets to a season-worst 24 percent shooting and used a 29-8 run to push their lead into the 20s.
Duke advanced to the ACC semifinals for the sixth time in seven seasons under coach Joanne P. McCallie.
Tyaunna Marshall had 17 points on 5-of-18 shooting for Georgia Tech (20-11).
The Yellow Jackets remained winless against Duke in tournament games, lost in the league quarterfinals for the 23rd time in 29 years and have not beaten the Blue Devils since 1995.
Kaela Davis had 16 points on 6-of-22 shooting _ and was 3 of 11 from 3-point range _ for Georgia Tech.
The Blue Devils forced Tech into another terrible shooting performance: In the previous meeting, a 17-point Duke win in January, the Yellow Jackets shot 26 percent _ which had been their worst of the season until this one.
On three different occasions Friday night, Tech missed at least seven consecutive shots.
Richa Jackson had 14 points while Liston matched the single-season record she set last year for the Blue Devils.
Williams blocked multiple shots for the eighth straight game despite the Yellow Jackets’ best efforts to avoid her, Oderah Chidom and the Blue Devils’ imposing front line.
Duke outscored the Yellow Jackets 38-22 in the paint and outrebounded them 49-36.
Coach MaChelle Joseph’s jump-shooting Jackets took their chances on the perimeter _ where Duke is down two of its best guards in Chelsea Gray and Alexis Jones. Both of them were on the bench in sweats, lost for the year with knee injuries.
And once Tech went cold, this one was effectively over.
Georgia Tech missed 17 of its last 20 shots of the half and went six minutes between field goals.
During that time, the Blue Devils started to grow their lead.
Duke outscored the Yellow Jackets 14-4 during the final 7:22 of the half, and went up 35-26 at the break on Ka’lia Johnson’s 3 just before the buzzer.
Williams’ layup 30 seconds into the second half gave the Blue Devils their first double-figure lead.
And then, by the time Jackson made it a 20-point game with 15 minutes left, Duke was on its way to improving to 6-0 against Georgia Tech in ACC tournament games.