Seeking its third straight victory, No. 7 Duke (8-2) travels to Philadelphia to face Temple (5-6) in a 7:00 tip at McGonigle Hall. Following a tough loss to then-No. 10 Kentucky Dec. 10 in Lexington, Ky, the Blue Devils disposed of their next two opponents quite easily, with a 93-35 victory over South Carolina Upstate and a 107-45 win over UNC Wilmington. The Owls had their recent three-game winning streak snapped with a 56-47 loss to Villanova last Thursday.
No. 7 Duke: G Chelsea Gray, G Chloe Wells, F Richa Jackson, F Haley Peters, C Elizabeth Williams.
Temple: G BJ Williams, G Shey Peddy, G Kristen McCarthy, F Brittany Lewis, C Victoria Macaulay.
1. Can Elizabeth Williams keep up her superb play?
The freshman Williams looks to continue her strong play against the Owls. Williams appears to have overcome her shooting slump and has averaged 18.3 points in Duke’s last three games on 67.6-percent shooting from the field.
2. Will Vernerey see a bigger role?
Williams’ backup, Allison Vernerey, should see increased minutes as well following an excellent performance in the Blue Devils’ victory over UNC Wilmington. Vernerey played just 19 minutes but shot 10-for-11 from the field. Her 22 points off the bench led all scorers in the game. She also added four rebounds, four assists and four steals in the contest.
3. Can Duke keep up its defensive pressure?
To continue their winning ways, the Blue Devils will rely on their full-court press. Duke has forced a staggering 25.9 turnovers per game this year, led by Chloe Wells’ 3.6 steals per game. The Blue Devils’ defensive pressure allows them to jump out to early leads and limit their opponents’ offensive possessions. Duke has one of the top scoring defenses in the country, allowing opponents to score just 49.4 points per game on the season.