Duke dominates Kentucky for blowout victory

DURHAM, N.C. -- No. 13 Duke finally figured out how to finish off a Top 10 team: Build a big lead, and don't let up.

The Blue Devils routed No. 8 Kentucky 89-68 on Sunday behind 17 points from freshman Azura Stevens.

Elizabeth Williams had 13 points and 10 rebounds and freshmen Rebecca Greenwell and Sierra Calhoun had 13 points apiece for the Blue Devils (8-3).

They never trailed and shot 56 percent -- including 61 percent in the first half while building a 24-point lead -- to earn their most-lopsided win over a Top 10 opponent since also beating No. 8 Maryland by 21 in February.

"I think that was a big problem for us in the three games we lost," Greenwell said. "We knew we couldn't let them get on runs. ... We just kept telling each other, 'We have to get the stop.' ... and we started converting."

Jennifer O'Neill scored 17 points on 5-of-21 shooting and Alexis Jennings also had 17 for the Wildcats (10-2), whose six-game winning streak was snapped. They shot a season-low 31 percent, missed 18 of their first 22 shots and finished just 2 of 24 from 3-point range.

"We got discouraged because of the offensive woes and lost our composure," Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell said. "I thought we were the less composed team today."

Azia Bishop had 15 points for the Wildcats, who were without Bria Goss -- a seven-point scorer who's out 4-6 weeks with a broken thumb. O'Neill was just 2 of 13 during a first half in which Duke built its huge lead.

Kentucky got as close as 63-52 on Bishop's layup with just under 11 minutes left. Stevens then scored seven points during the 11-4 run that followed, and her layup made it 74-56 and forced the Wildcats to take a timeout with 8:04 left.

"I thought the hole was too big," Mitchell said.

Amber Henson had 11 points and Oderah Chidom scored 10 for the Blue Devils, who entered 0-3 against ranked opponents with those losses coming by a combined 11 points -- including one in the final seconds to top-ranked South Carolina here exactly two weeks earlier.

They did their best to decide this one much sooner.

Duke broke the game with a 26-9 run keyed by Henson and Greenwell -- a native Kentuckian who had 10 points in the opening half. Mercedes Riggs ended the run with a free throw that pushed the lead to 49-25 with 46.4 seconds left.


Duke's prettiest sequence started when Calhoun rebounded Linnae Harper's shot with about 14½ minutes left. She flung a three-quarter-court pass to Ka'lia Johnson -- who followed with a touch-pass to a streaking Williams, who finished through contact from Janee Thompson. She converted the three-point play to put Duke up 58-39.


Kentucky's two 3-pointers weren't even a season low: The Wildcats were 0 for 6 in a loss to Illinois and 1 for 2 two days later in a four-point win over South Florida.


Duke: The Blue Devils improved to 8-0 when scoring at least 60 points. In all three of their losses, they finished in the 50s. They had nearly that many points at halftime of this one (49).

Kentucky: UK is the only school with both its men's and women's teams in the top 10 of the RPI. The Wildcats had won at least 10 of their first 11 games for the sixth straight year.


Duke is at Connecticut on Dec. 29.

Kentucky is home against Tennessee State on Dec. 28.