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Yellow Jackets no match for Blue Devils

POSTED: February 5, 2008 5:03 a.m.

ATLANTA — The rankings suggested Duke was no longer a vastly better team than Georgia Tech. The Blue Devils proved otherwise.

Chante Black had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and No. 10 Duke continued its dominance of No. 23 Georgia Tech Thursday night with a 73-47 victory.

The Blue Devils beat the Yellow Jackets for the 28th time in a row, dating back to 1994. The win was the second straight for Duke (15-4, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) following a rare conference loss to Maryland last week.

"We were not very happy about that loss to Maryland," Duke coach Joanne McCallie said. "But I think this team is really good at sticking together and focusing on things we need to focus on. We’ve been working hard to get better, and we’ve been turning the corner."

The Yellow Jackets (16-4, 3-3) were ranked in the Top 25 Monday for the first time since 1993. But as they learned Thursday, there’s a difference between being a ranked team and beating one.

All four of Georgia Tech’s losses this season have come against Top 25 opponents. This one snapped an 18-game home winning streak.

"What’s really disappointing for us is we didn’t feel like we competed," Yellow Jackets coach MaChelle Joseph said. "To lose is one thing, but when you lose and you don’t play hard, that’s a whole other thing." Chioma Nnamaka led Georgia Tech with 13 points but finished just 5-for-15 from the floor, part of a 32 percent shooting performance by the Yellow Jackets.

The Blue Devils shot 50 percent from the field, only the second time they have done so this season. Abby Waner had 15 points, six rebounds and five assists.

But it was Duke’s inside play, led by Black, that made the difference. Duke outrebounded the Yellow Jackets 48-31 and outscored them in the paint 42-24.

"We always have to do that," McCallie said. "We love our post players, and I think we play much better if we play from the inside out. It’s important to dictate the physicality of any game."

Georgia Tech was coming off a four-point, double-overtime loss at No. 4 Maryland on Sunday.

It took the Blue Devils less than four minutes to open up a seven-point lead, and they led by double digits for most of the game. A lay-up by Jasmine Thomas just before time expired in the first half gave Duke a 35-23 lead at the break.

The game only got more lopsided in the second half, which Duke began with a 15-7 run. The Blue Devils increased their lead to 25 points midway through the half.


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