Devils Escape Virginia 63-52

Alana Beard overcame a miserable shooting night by scoring eight straight points in a late 12-4 run and No. 1 Duke won its 48th consecutive ACC game, beating Virginia 63-52 Sunday night.

Beard made only three of her first 15 shots, but she made three in a row and added two free throws as the Blue Devils (14-1, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) turned a tie game into a 53-45 lead with 3:38 left.

The Cavaliers (8-8, 2-3) fell to 1-8 in their history against the No. 1 team and came up short against the Blue Devils for the second straight year at University Hall. Last year, Beard scored 41 points and her free throws with eight-tenths on a second left gave Duke a 60-59 win.

Beard was nowhere near as dominant this time, but found her game when the Blue Devils needed it. She made a layup to give them a 45-41 lead and added two free throws, a drive and a putback in the next 90 seconds.

After Tiffany Sardin's jumper and two free throws closed the gap to 53-49 for Virginia, Lindsey Harding drove the length of the court for a layup and Beard's two free throws essentially sealed the victory.

Duke hasn't lost in league play since a 69-55 setback at North Carolina State on Feb. 18, 2001. The winning streak has obliterated the old ACC women's standard - 22 in a row by Virginia in 1992-93 and 1993-94.

Beard finished with 24 points and Monique Currie and Mistie Bass had 10 each for Duke. Beard also had six rebounds and four blocks.

LaTonya Blue led Virginia with 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Sardin, Kate Kreager and Anna Prillaman each scored eight.

Virginia turned the ball over 24 times, leading to 23 Duke points.

The Cavaliers were playing for the third straight game without scoring leader Brandi Teamer, who is suspended for unspecified reasons.


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