Devils Roll Over Jackets 77-45

Alana Beard scored 17 points as Duke won their 46th consecutive ACC game, a 32 point trouncing of Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

As good as her team is, coach Gail Goestenkors expects Duke to get even better.

Scary thought.

Alana Beard had 12 of her 17 points during a dominating first half, and Monique Currie and Brittany Hunter added 14 apiece to help top-ranked Duke beat Georgia Tech 77-45 Thursday night.

"I feel like in a month we're going to be where we want to be," Goestenkors said. "We have a very mature team with great leaders and they understand that every game is about preparing to win a national championship."

The Blue Devils (12-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their 46th consecutive game in the conference, including the ACC tournament. They haven't lost since in the league since North Carolina State beat them 69-55 on Feb. 18, 2001.

Point guard Lindsey Harding scored 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting and had six assists. Hunter, who missed five games earlier this season with a knee injury, added 12 rebounds and four blocks.

"After that injury, I started kind of slow, and there always was something lacking in games," Hunter said. "Now it's really coming together."

Fallon Stokes, the second-leading scorer in the ACC, had 16 points for the Yellow Jackets (10-4, 1-1), but made only seven of 18 shots. Duke forced 12 turnovers and limited Georgia Tech to 21-percent shooting in the first half.

One bright spot for the Yellow Jackets was Kasha Terry, who finished with seven blocks, the highest total for them since 1990.

"The points I did get were hard to earn," Stokes said. "It was like you were playing a new player each set."

A putback by April Johnson brought Georgia Tech to 7-6 before Beard started a 17-1 run with a layup. Over the next seven minutes, the Yellow Jackets made only one of nine shots and had six turnovers.

The spurt was punctuated by several unselfish plays by Duke. Iciss Tillis passed up an open 3-pointer and fed Hunter for an open layup, then Beard threw a no-look pass on a fast break to a streaking Currie, who drove in to score.

"We were very ready to play and set the tone with our defense," Goestenkors said. "We did a good job blocking some shots and I think that caused them to alter their shots a little bit."

A brief spurt by the Yellow Jackets - well, at least they scored two baskets in three possessions - made it 26-11. Stokes finally found some room for an open jumper, only her second basket of the first half.

Duke outscored Georgia Tech 16-2 over the final 6:52 of half, taking a 42-13 lead at the break.

During this span, with Duke's starters on the bench, Georgia Tech was 1-for-11 and six of those shots blocked.

The victory was bittersweet for Blue Devils coach Gail Goestenkors . As an assistant at Purdue early in her career, she recruited and coached current Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph.

"I'd rather be on her side," Joseph quipped. "It was more fun when we battled together."

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