Gray scores 22, No. 4 Duke beats Xavier 82-59

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Associated Press

Posted on November 25, 2012 at 8:06 PM

CINCINNATI (AP) — Chelsea Gray provided what was needed for the Duke offense.

Gray had a season-high 22 points and added 10 assists and No. 4 Duke routed Xavier 82-59 on Sunday.

"I thought we had terrific leadership by Chelsea as a point guard, and just dictating the tempo and having a lot of poise," Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "Very poised, very experienced, very veteran. Chelsea was in control in that game."

Gray led a Duke offense that relied on an effective inside-out play and quick ball movement to string together its most efficient offensive performance of the season.

Duke (4-0) shot a season-high 59 percent, including 65.5 percent during a 44-point first half against the smaller Xavier lineup.

Duke outscored the Musketeers 19-2 and held them scoreless for almost five minutes in the first half.

Four Blue Devils finished with double-digit scoring totals.

Freshman Alexis Jones had a breakout game, scoring a career-high 14 points and held Xavier leading scorer Shatyra Hawkes to eight points. Elizabeth Williams added 16 and Haley Peters added 13 points.

Ashley Wanninger led the Musketeers (3-2) with 15 points.

The Musketeers played a physical game, drawing 18 Duke fouls and causing Peters to foul out late in the game.

"I thought we did a great job of fighting from start to finish, and I think it will help us immensely as we go throughout the season," Xavier coach Amy Waugh said. "We didn't want to give them easy opportunities. We wanted them to work for every shot they had to take."

Duke outrebounded Xavier 37-34. Duke had four offensive rebounds to Xavier's 12.

"It was difficult for us to just go in there and rebound, so we had to depend on boxing out since they were a very athletic team," Hawkes said. "We just wanted to attack and get them in foul trouble."

Playing an aggressive Xavier team in their first road test means that the Blue Devils' main priorities heading into the ACC-Big Ten Challenge against Michigan on Wednesday night include improving the team's physicality and rebounding.

"Defense and rebounding are things we've talked about for the whole season, but are going to be very important as we get closer to conference play," Peters said. "We just have to be sharp, physical and be able to dictate in the paint and on the boards."

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