Created: 11/24/2013 7:05 PM
(AP) MILWAUKEE - Marquette knew it had to do three things to be able to pull off an upset of No. 2 Duke.
The Golden Eagles accomplished two of their goals, but it just wasn’t enough to knock off the Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils converted 20 turnovers into 26 points and junior center Elizabeth Williams dominated on the offensive end as Duke remained undefeated with a 78-61 non-conference victory over Marquette on Sunday.
"We talked about three things coming into this game," said Marquette coach Terri Mitchell. "We needed to rebound, we needed to take care of it and we needed to compete."
The Golden Eagles (4-1) outrebounded Duke 45-35 and battled, but couldn’t offset the turnovers.
"We obviously rebounded the ball exceptionally well, being plus 10," Mitchell said. "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. The second thing is we absolutely competed. You can look at statistics and say we didn’t shoot well and they shot very well, but there wasn’t a possession where I had to tell my team to play hard."
Williams scored 23 points, making 11 of shots, as the Blue Devils (5-0) shot 50 percent, largely because of 46 points in the paint.
"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 and Chelsea Gray dished out 13 assists, along with 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds. On the boards, Duke missed 6-foot-3 senior forward Haley Peters, the team’s leading rebounder, who did not play after injuring her right knee on Thursday in an 88-69 victory over Vanderbilt.
"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."
Senior forward Katie Young had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Katherine Plouffe added 17 points and eight rebounds for the Golden Eagles.
" She’s playing like a senior, with a lot of passion," Mitchell said of Young. "What you see on the court are the double-doubles but what you don’t hear is her in time outs and on the bench, encouraging her teammates to get better. "
Marquette 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.
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.
"This is why you play Duke in non-conference and have the kind of schedule we do, to get tougher and stronger for Big East play and ultimately, to be ready for March," Mitchell said.