Devils Blitz Loyola Marymount 81-53

Duke clearly didn't look past Loyola Marymount Monday night, but the Blue Devils were already thinking about Connecticut.

The fourth-ranked Blue Devils, led by Alana Beard's 26 points, beat Loyola Marymount 81-53 in the championship game of the LMU Marina Beach Classic. The Blue Devils face the top-ranked Huskies on Saturday.

"The UConn game is definitely a revenge game for us," said Beard, who also had eight rebounds and six assists Monday night. "They beat us last year at our place and so our intensity will be up for them. It will be a hard fought game. We have a lot of making up to do."

Beard made 12 of 18 shots as the Blue Devils won their ninth game in a row.

Duke (9-1) raced to a 26-4 lead in the game's first 10 minutes and scored 24 of their first 28 points on layups.

The Blue Devils used an aggressive defense in the first half to force 11 Loyola Marymount turnovers and led by as many as 33 points in the half.

"Our defense ignited our offense," Blue Devils coach Gail Goestenkors said. "Tonight was a better team defensive effort than yesterday. We set the tone of the game with our defense."

Duke beat Hampton 90-59 Sunday.

"I don't know what team showed up yesterday, but today was Duke basketball," Beard said. "We improved every aspect of our game."

Duke shot 52.6 percent in the first half and outrebounded the Lions 53-35 in the game.

Beard scored 21 points in the first half on the way to a 44-18 Duke lead at the break.

Her 26 points leaves her 25 from breaking Chris Moreland's all-time women's scoring record (2,232 points) at Duke. Beard has scored 20 or more points 54 times in her career.

Loyola Marymount (9-3) shot just 24.1 percent in the first half and could get no closer than 20 points in the second half.

Bianca Ziemann had 13 points for the Lions, who lost their first home game of the season.

Monique Currie added 14 points and Brittany Hunter 12 for Duke.

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