No. 1 Duke Escapes Virginia With 60-59 Win
Jan. 9, 2003
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Duke’s Alana Beard nailed two free throws with :00.8 on the clock to give the No. 1 ranked Blue Devils a 60-59 come-from-behind ACC win over Virginia on Thursday evening at University Hall.
Duke improved to 14-0 overall and 2-0 in the Conference, while the Cavaliers fell to 5-8 overall and 0-3 in the league.
“I give a lot of credit to Debbie Ryan and her team this evening,” Duke head coach Gail Goestenkors said. “Virginia came together and played well and caught us by surprise. I think we’ve escaped with a win here.”
The Cavaliers, playing without starting sophomores Cherrise Graham (Conshohocken, Pa.) and Brandi Teamer (Joliet, Ill.) who were suspended for the game, dominated Duke throughout the contest. In the first half, UVa jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead and lead by as many as 11 points, 19-8 with 6:31 to go. The Blue Devils came within two points twice but never led in the stanza. The Cavaliers took a 28-23 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, the youthful Cavaliers went up by seven points, 34-27, but Duke whittled away and took its first lead at 35-34 with 14:34 on the clock. However, the top-ranked Blue Devils would not lead again until the last minute of the game.
Duke took a one-point edge, 58-57 with 50 second to go. Virginia junior Safiya Grant-Fairley (Bronx, N.Y.) converted a lay-up to put the Cavs ahead, 59-58 with 36 seconds to go. Duke then missed three attempts from the field. UVa’s Karen Jaeger (Midlothian, Va.) came up with the rebound and was called for a turnover and a loose ball foul with :00.8 on the clock. Beard went to the line for two shots, which gave Duke the win.
“It’s real tough to take that,” said Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan. “I didn?t feel we lost the game.”
Junior Anna Crosswhite (Castlecrag, Australia) paced the Cavs with 13 points, while Grant-Fairley had 12 points. Sophomore LaTonya Blue (Baltimore, Md.) added 10 points. Sophomore Lynette O’Reggio (Laurel, Md.) grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds.
“That was the best performance all year, the gutsiest performance all year, and the game with most heart,” Ryan said. “I’m very, very pleased with the players who played tonight, every single one of them.”
“You can’t replay it; you can’t play it over,” Crosswhite said of the final play. “We just about beat the No. 1 team in the nation today.”
Beard was the lone Blue Devil in double digits with a school record 41 points. She also had 10 rebounds while shooting 8-10 from the line. Iciss Tillis added six points.
“Offensively as a team, we were out of sorts,” Beard said.
Overall, Virginia held Duke to a season-low in points (60) and field goal percentage (.322). The Blue Devils out-rebounded the Cavs, 39-35.
“Psychologically it was in their favor,” Ryan said of Duke’s outlook of facing UVa without its top two scorers. “We had nothing to lose. I was very pleased with our chemistry.”
Virginia heads to NC State on Sunday, Jan. 12 for a 1 p.m. televised game on the Regional Sports Network. The Cavaliers return home on Thursday, Jan. 16 to host Georgia Tech at 7:30 p.m. Charlottesville’s WINA Radio (1070 AM) broadcasts each UVa game live with Jed Williams and Myron Ripley calling the action.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL 1 2 - Final#1 Duke (14-0, 2-0) 23 37 - 60Virginia (5-8, 0-3) 28 31 - 59
Other ACC scores from tonight:Clemson 70, Maryland 59North Carolina 86, Wake Forest 56