Dec. 30, 2001
ATLANTA (AP) – Outplayed in virtually every category, No. 9 Duke relied on free throws to avoid its second straight loss.
Monique Currie’s 18 points and 10 rebounds powered the Blue Devils to a 76-60 victory over Georgia Tech on Sunday.
Georgia Tech, which led midway through the second half, made more field goals, had more rebounds and fewer turnovers. But Duke hit 25-of-27 free throws.
“Sometimes you go through games where things just don’t go your way,” Duke coach Gail Goestenkors said. “Those are the ones you have to gut out.”
Duke (10-3, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), which lost to No. 2 Tennessee on Thursday, trailed 48-44 after Sonja Mallory hit a put-back for Georgia Tech with 10:21 remaining.
The Blue Devils then went on a 16-3 run. Michele Matyasovsky keyed the spurt with a 3-pointer and four free throws.
After Iciss Tillis hit a 3-pointer to give the Blue Devils a 63-53 lead, Georgia Tech (6-5, 0-2) came no closer than nine in the final five minutes. Duke hit 19-of-20 free throws in the second half.
“We fouled too much,” Georgia Tech coach Agnus Berenato said. “I guess we’re too physical. We could have made four more free throws and gone 16-for-16, and we still would have lost.”
Duke made 5-of-8 3-pointers in the first half and led 35-32 at the break. But the Blue Devils hit just two field goals in the first six minutes of the second half, and Georgia Tech tied the score on Niesha Butler’s steal and layup with 14:49 remaining.
The Yellow Jackets tied the score two more times, then took the lead when Milli Martinez’ jumper made it 46-44 with 11:41 remaining.
“Georgia Tech is just one of those incredibly scrappy teams,” Goestenkors said. “They got every loose ball and every rebound. We just had to get tougher.”
Tillis scored 17 points and Matyasovsky added a career-high 16 for Duke, which won despite committing 29 turnovers. The Blue Devils got 37 points from their reserves while Georgia Tech had four.
Mallory scored 21 points and Martinez added 15 for Georgia Tech, which was playing its second straight Top 10 team. The Yellow Jackets lost to No. 10 Georgia on Thursday.