No. 5 Duke overwhelms Oklahoma State 73-45

AP SPORTS WRITERDecember 12, 2010 

— Karima Christmas scored 16 points, Allison Vernerey added a season-high 12 and No. 5 Duke deployed a ravenous pressure defense to rout previously unbeaten Oklahoma State 73-45 on Sunday.

The Blue Devils (11-0) forced 17 first-half turnovers and rushed out to a 29-point halftime lead on their way to a sixth road win already this season.

Oklahoma State (8-1) was especially vulnerable to the full-court press with two freshmen taking over at point guard for departed second-team All-American Andrea Riley, the Big 12's all-time scoring leader.

Lakyn Garrison made six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 20 points for the Cowgirls, who had a 48-game non-conference winning streak at Gallagher-Iba Arena snapped.

Tricia Liston added 11 points and Chelsea Gray had 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Duke.

Oklahoma State has been a regular in the Top 25 in recent years, but is rebuilding after losing Riley and Tegan Cunningham — who made up the highest-scoring tandem in the nation last season. Facing their highest-ranked non-conference opponent at home since 1989, the Cowgirls were knocked back almost from the start.

After committing two quick turnovers to fall behind 3-0, Duke simply overwhelmed the inexperienced Cowgirls with a full-court press to spark a 17-0 run. Oklahoma State committed 13 turnovers while getting only three shots off in the first 9 minutes of the game.

Garrison hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to finally break a nearly 10-minute scoring drought, and Tiffany Bias added another 3 when she found herself open in transition after a steal. But even as the Cowgirls started getting shots off, they still weren't falling.

Oklahoma State didn't score again for the final 6½ minutes before halftime, with Duke reeling off another 13 straight points to go up 38-9. The Cowgirls were only 3 of 21 in the first half.

The Blue Devils led 62-23 when Liston connected on a jumper from the left corner with 10:05 remaining to finish another stretch of eight straight Duke points.

Garrison finally provided a lift for the Cowgirls, hitting four straight 3-pointers during a 12-0 run as Oklahoma State found success with its own pressure defense.

The Cowgirls had been the third-stingiest defense in the nation, but easily allowed their most points of the season — 20 more than they had in regulation in any other game — despite forcing 25 turnovers.

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