"Virginia scored half of their points in the first half off our turnovers," Goestenkors said. "There was no excuse for that."
Alana Beard scored 27 points to help fourth-ranked Duke clinch the top seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament with an 87-54 victory Thursday night.
Duke could have won more convincingly had it not been for 15 turnovers in the first half.
Iciss Tillis and freshman Allison Bales added 11 points each for Duke (21-3, 12-1). Anna Prillman and Brandi Teamer led Virginia (12-13, 5-8) with 10 points each.
Duke clinched the tournament's top seed for the fourth straight season. With three games left, the Blue Devils have a three-game lead over North Carolina, which lost twice to Duke this season. The Tar Heels, who can do no better than a tie for the regular-season title, defeated Maryland 79-64 Thursday night.
Despite her reservations about the first half, Goestenkors was not disappointed in the outcome.
"I'm proud of the way we came back in the second half," she said. "I thought we had much greater intensity and focus."
And the Blue Devils turned it over only three times after the break.
Beard hit her first three shots and scored 11 points in the opening 9:26. She added five more points in a 12-0 Duke run to a 32-20 lead.
Beard's last points of the half came on a pair of technical free throws ensuing from a call on Virginia's Debbie Ryan for arguing with officials midway through the big run.
"I don't get technicals. That's just not my nature," said Ryan, who with 27 years coaching is second in ACC seniority only to 29-year veteran Kay Yow of North Carolina State. "That's not me at all. But I felt we were getting the short end of the stick.
"Some players were allowed to do things that other players aren't allowed to do in this league."
Ryan fed Duke's big run when she called a time out immediately after a steal and layup by Beard. Ryan received the technical after she walked out to near midcourt and began to berate officials.
"Usually when a coach gets a technical, it's a boost for their team, but I think it ended up being more of a boost for our team," Beard said. "We needed some intensity out there. I definitely think that was the turning point."
What had been a close game early was tied for the last time at 20-20 after Virginia's LaTonya Blue hit two free throws with 9:08 left in the first half. Virginia then went 0-for-4 with six turnovers on its next 10 possessions. The Cavaliers ended up with 25 turnovers.
Led by Monique Currie's 12 rebounds, Duke beat Virginia 38-26 on the boards. Teamer led Virginia with six rebounds.
"I can't comment on why it was so much harder today," Teamer said. "I would probably get suspended."
Duke pulled away steadily in the second half. The Blue Devils had more field goals after halftime, shooting 19-for-34 (55.9 percent) than Virginia had for the game. The Cavaliers went 18-for-49 from the field (36.7 percent), while Duke was 30-for-60 overall.