Hitting the boards
Duke outrebounds Holy Cross 46-18 in 79-51 win
Posted: Sunday March 14, 1999 01:45 AM
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- After a two-week layoff, Duke showed some rust early in its NCAA Tournament opener against Holy Cross. But the Blue Devils eventually hit their stride and overwhelmed another undersized opponent.
Michele VanGorp scored 19 points and the third-seeded Blue Devils dominated the boards in a 79-51 win over the 14th-seeded Crusaders on Saturday night.
Georgia Schweitzer added 14 points and Hilary Howard had nine points and five assists for the Blue Devils (25-6), who outrebounded Holy Cross 46-18.
"Having a two-week layoff since our last game, I was a little concerned about how we would come out with our execution," said Duke coach Gail Goestenkors. "We were very aggressive but at times we weren't patient, especially early in the game.
"We were so excited to be playing, we didn't show a lot of poise for a while."
Duke will play 11th-seeded St. Joseph's in the second round Monday night. The Hawks upset sixth-seeded Tulane 83-72 earlier Saturday.
Amy O'Brien, the Patriot League player of the year, missed an uncontested layup on the first play of the game and her night never got better. The 6-foot-1 O'Brien hit only six of 16 shots and was held to 13 points while matched up most of the night with the 6-6 VanGorp.
"Our size advantage was something we definitely wanted to go after," said VanGorp, who also had eight rebounds. "O'Brien is a prolific scorer and she was one of our focuses. We wanted to make sure we held her under control."
Lara Marcsisin scored 12 and Anna Kinne added 10 for Holy Cross (21-8), which had a 10-game winning streak snapped.
Duke generated 21 second-chance points from 15 offensive rebounds, while the Crusaders managed only four second-chance points off two offensive rebounds.
"They came at us with waves of bodies," said Holy Cross coach Bill Gibbons. "Their physicalness just wore us down."
The Blue Devils led by nine at halftime but held the Crusaders to just two field goals in the first 10:16 of the second half. Duke outscored Holy Cross 14-4 over that span, wearing down the Crusaders.
Marcsisin hit a perimeter jumper with 6:23 left to pull Holy Cross to within 61-43. But Howard scored on a driving layup a minute later to preserve Duke's 20-point lead.
The Crusaders got no closer than 21 points the rest of the way.
"We've got such a deep bench and I thought we were able to really rest everybody and still have tremendous intensity," said Goestenkors. "They got a little fatigued down the stretch."
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