Wake Forest has no answer for No. 7 Duke, Williams
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.—Wake Forest spent a week in practice preparing for No. 7 Duke's inside game. Still, the Demon Deacons couldn't stop the Blue Devils' Elizabeth Williams from a record-setting night.
Duke's freshman center had 18 points, 16 rebounds and a conference-record 12 blocks for her first triple-double to lead the Blue Devils to a 76-58 victory over Wake Forest on Friday night.
Haley Peters scored 12 points and Richa Jackson added 11 as Duke (11-2, 2-0 ACC) won its fifth straight and beat the Demon Deacons for the 36th consecutive time.
"They're seventh in the country for a reason," Wake Forest coach Mike Petersen said. "You're not going to beat them missing layups and missing free throws. Our effort was good. We played hard enough; we just didn't play good enough."
Lakevia Boykin had a career-high 25 points for the Demon Deacons (10-4, 0-1), who saw their three-game winning streak snapped. Wake Forest shot just 29 percent (23 for 80) from the field and was outrebounded 57-36.
"They're really long, especially Williams down in the post," said Boykin, who hit five 3-pointers. "If she doesn't block the shot, she definitely changes it. She'll have you second guessing, which you're not supposed to do. But it's definitely in the back of your head, and it was definitely a problem for us."
The 6-foot-3 Williams had nine blocks in the first half and broke former Duke star Sarah Sullivan's 29-year-old ACC record by emphatically swatting down Lindsy Wright's layup attempt with 5:02 remaining in the second half.
"I thought I had a couple, but I wasn't really focused on it," Williams said. "I was just trying to get stops, get rebounds, really play hard and feed off of everyone else. ... But this just makes me want to work harder and continue to do more for the team. There's always room for improvement, and I'm still learning."
The Demon Deacons pulled to 34-30 on Secily Ray's three-point play in the opening minute after halftime. However, the Blue Devils scored the next nine points to push their lead into double figures.
Duke's biggest lead came with 7:19 remaining, when Peters hit a jumper from the free-throw line to put the Blue Devils up 66-46.
"I've never been in a game where my team had 16 shots blocked, and (Williams) had 12 of them," Petersen said. "She drove our field goal percentage down all by herself. It's hard to play around her. We allowed her to stay between us and the rim, and she made some great plays.
"Yeah, they're bigger than us at every position, but we still ran down 23 offensive boards. We just didn't do much with them when we had them."
The Demon Deacons led only once in Friday's game -- 7-6 on Ray's layup with 15:33 left in the first half -- before Duke asserted itself, breaking the game open with a 24-4 run over the next 11 minutes.
Peters' layup with 4:50 remaining put the Blue Devils ahead 28-11, their biggest lead of the half, as Wake Forest missed 13 straight from the field.
But Boykin, who had 18 first-half points, hit three straight 3-pointers to kick off the Demon Deacons' 16-6 run to close out the half. Asia Williams hit two free throws with 0.3 seconds remaining to cut Duke's lead to 34-27 at the break.