Duke 68, Oklahoma State 59

Duke defeats Oklahoma State, 68-59, in NCAA women's tourney

Associated PressMarch 26, 2013 

Ka'lia Johnson (14) and the rest of the Duke bench and fans erupt after Duke's Tricia Liston (32), right, hit a long three to give Duke their first lead of the game during the second half of the Oklahoma State versus Duke University in the second round of the NCAA women's Basketball Tournament on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C. Duke won the game, 68-59.

GREG MINTEL — newsobserver.com Buy Photo

— Elizabeth Williams had 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Duke rallied to beat Oklahoma State 68-59 on Tuesday night in the second round of the Norfolk Regional.

Haley Peters added 15 points and 13 rebounds while Tricia Liston scored eight of her 13 in the final 6-plus minutes and Chloe Wells also finished with 13 for the second-seeded Blue Devils (32-2). They advance to face sixth-seeded Nebraska in the regional semifinals on Sunday in Norfolk, Va.

Duke trailed by 15 points in the first minute of the second half before outscoring the seventh-seeded Cowgirls 47-23 during the final 19 1/2 minutes to reach the tournament’s second weekend for the 15th time in 16 years.

Liz Donohoe had 14 points to lead Oklahoma State (22-11), which led for nearly all of the first 35 minutes but had 21 turnovers and made just 2 of 14 shots over the final 9 1/2 minutes.

Brittney Martin added 13 points and her free throw with 7:50 left put the Cowgirls up 51-45.

That’s when Duke finally started playing like a No. 2 seed going for its 18th straight NCAA tournament victory at home.

Alexis Jones hit a free throw before Liston finally warmed up after a 2-for-12 start, scoring six straight points to give Duke its first lead since the opening minutes.

She stuck back her missed jumper, drew contact, hit the following free throw and then buried a 3-pointer with 5 1/2 minutes left to put the Blue Devils up 52-51.

That got Duke’s decisive 17-2 run rolling, scoring on five straight possessions with Jones’ free throws maxing out the lead at 62-53 with 53.8 seconds left.

By that point, their 15-point hole – their largest deficit at Cameron all season – was a distant memory.

They fell that far behind in the first minute of the second half and were in danger of being run completely off their home court before they got back in it with 12 straight points.

That came after a first half in which the Cowgirls came into Cameron and made themselves right at home. They led for all but about 2 minutes of the half while shooting nearly 47 percent in the opening 20 minutes.

Toni Young finished with 12 points and Tiffany Bias added 11 for Oklahoma State, which held Duke to 18 percent shooting from 3-point range in the first half.

Bias banked in a 3 with about 10 seconds left making it 34-21 at the break, and Martin hit a short jumper about 15 seconds into the second half to put the Blue Devils down by 15. But the Cowgirls couldn’t hold on, and their third trip to the round of 16 slipped away down the stretch.

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