Duke

Duke women hold off Louisville 66-58

Duke's Ka'lia Johnson, left, knocks the ball away from Louisville's Mariya Moore during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, in Durham, N.C.
Duke's Ka'lia Johnson, left, knocks the ball away from Louisville's Mariya Moore during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, in Durham, N.C. AP

The keyword for Duke was balance.

Azura Stevens led the way with 17 points as No. 15 Duke held off No. 8 Louisville 66-58 in women’s basketball Monday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

All five starters were in double figures – and nobody else scored for Duke – in the teams’ first matchup since the Cardinals joined the ACC.

Oderah Chidom added 14 points, followed by Kentuckian Rebecca Greenwell with 13 and Elizabeth Williams and Ka’lia Johnson with 11 each for the Blue Devils (16-6, 7-2).

Duke’s only home loss this season was a 51-50 defeat to No. 1 South Carolina on Dec. 7.

"I was proud of our team for how we battled," Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "It was a defensive battle and a very physical game. I liked the way everybody got aggressive. I thought we got a little bit better tonight.

"I think the team had great intensity and focus, but overall the team was strong."

Sara Hammond led Louisville (19-3, 7-2) with 17 points. Mariya Moore added 14 and Jude Schimmel 11.

The game was televised on ESPN2 as part of the Big Monday series.

"I was proud of our team for how we battled," Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "It was a defensive battle and a very physical game. I liked the way everybody got aggressive. I thought we got a little bit better tonight.

"I think the team had great intensity and focus, but overall the team was strong."

Duke scored the first four points of the game and never trailed.

Duke shot 46.9 percent to the visitors’ 35.4 and outrebounded them 43-35. The Blue Devils committed 22 turnovers to Louisville’s 15.

The Blue Devils were up 25-19 at intermission. Stevens had 10 points by halftime for Duke, which outshot the visitors 42.3 percent to 29.2 before intermission and was winning the rebounding battle 21-13. Hammond had six at the break for the Cardinals.

Chidom scored the first four points and six of the first nine for the Blue Devils, who were up 11-2 after Stevens followed her own shot a little over four minutes into the game.

"We were all just trying to look to attack and keep the lead we had," said Stevens, who finished with nine rebounds. "I think our defense was good, but it could be a lot better."

Louisville trailed by just two on four occasions later in the half.

The Cardinals cut the margin to 28-23 on a Hammond bucket with 19:01 left before Duke answered with a 12-0 run, the last five from Williams.

"I just had to come in after the first half and be aggressive," said Williams, who scored all of her points after halftime and matched Stevens' nine rebounds. "Defensively I think all of us wanted to keep our pressure up, and I think we did a good job of that."

Louisville trimmed it back to 46-38 on a Moore 3-pointer at 9:21 before Greenwell answered at 7:58.

The margin was never again closer than seven points.

Duke will play at Wake Forest on Thursday at 7 p.m. Louisville’s next game is against visiting Pittsburgh on Sunday at 2.

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