Williams helps No. 2 Duke women beat Marquette



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MILWAUKEE (AP) - An opportunistic defense and a high-percentage inside offense proved to be a simple, but extremely effective, winning formula for second-ranked Duke.

Junior center Elizabeth Williams scored 23 points to pace an offense that scored 46 points in the paint and the Blue Devils converted 20 turnovers into 26 points to remain unbeaten with a methodical 78-61 non-conference victory over Marquette on Sunday.

"They're a good team, Elizabeth is hard to guard," said Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie. "We have a tendency to play outside-in sometimes and that's bad because we've got some tremendous post players. But our guards did a great job today of going through Elizabeth and letting things happen there and reading that. She's a special player working very, very hard."

Alexis Jones added 19 points for Duke (5-0), which played without 6-foot-3 senior forward Haley Peters, the team's leading rebounder, who injured her right knee on Thursday in an 88-69 victory over Vanderbilt.

Williams made 11 of 15 shots, mostly on a variety of moves around the basket, as the Blue Devils shot 50 percent. Guard Chelsea Gray dished out 13 assists, along with 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

"The guards did a great job getting the ball inside, "said Williams, who also had four blocks. "We talked a lot about transition. I can get out and run and they did a great job of throwing me long outlet passes. I was demanding the ball inside and even when they were in the zone, we did a good job of getting into the seams."

Katie Young had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Katherine Plouffe added 17 points and eight boards for the Golden Eagles, who actually had a 45-35 rebounding advantage, including 20 offensive rebounds.

"We obviously rebounded the ball exceptionally well, being plus 10," said Marquette coach Terri Mitchell. "We had 20 offensive boards, but we don't have the points to show for it and that's one thing we have to grow on."

Marquette (4-1) trailed 33-24 at the half and stayed close early after the break, pulling within 46-38, but Duke scored seven straight, opening a 53-38 lead on Gray's 3-pointer with 13:00 remaining. Marquette got no closer than 11 the rest of the way.

"Offensively, Elizabeth was fantastic, especially in the second half," said McCallie. "I don't think she's played 37 minutes in a long time. Alexis was just on it defensively, again, especially in the second half to pick us up. It was a good game, lots we can improve on but we'll enjoy this for now."

The Golden Eagles used a 10-point run to take a 19-16 lead midway through the first half, but Duke responded with a 17-2 spurt to go in front 33-21.

"We have to improve our post defense," Mitchell said. "It all starts with ball pressure. If the ball can see, your posts are being hung out to dry. Our zone worked extremely well for a while but they made some shots and got out of it. "

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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JIM HOEHN

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