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Duke routs Winthrop 87-45 in NCAA tourney opener

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm •  Published: March 22, 2014

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Maybe it's not entirely accurate to say Duke doesn't have any point guards.

"I guess we're all point guards," coach Joanne P. McCallie said.

The Blue Devils had 21 assists — their most in two months — in an 87-45 rout of Winthrop on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

McCallie has had to tweak her lineup after season-ending knee injuries to Chelsea Gray and Alexis Jones left Duke with no true point guards.

In this game, everyone got into the act: Six Blue Devils had multiple assists, led by Haley Peters with six and center Elizabeth Williams with four.

"We've gone from no point guards," McCallie said, "to all point guards."

Tricia Liston scored 20 points and freshman Oderah Chidom added a season-high 17 points for the second-seeded Blue Devils (28-6).

They didn't miss a beat in their first game in nearly two weeks: They never trailed, shot 54 percent from the field and led by double figures for the final 33½ minutes in winning their 21st straight NCAA tournament opener.

Next up: No. 7 seed DePaul, which beat Oklahoma 104-100, on Monday night in the second round.

In giving the 15th-seeded Eagles (24-9) their worst loss of the season by far, Duke built a 49-23 rebounding advantage and held them to 27 percent shooting — 21 percent in the decisive first half — to advance in the Lincoln Regional bracket.

Referring to Duke's superior depth, especially in the low post, Winthrop coach Kevin Cook said it "seemed like the French Foreign Legion to me."

"They just keep bringing them in," Cook said.

Big South player of the year Dequesha McClanahan had 22 points to lead Winthrop in its brief first NCAA tournament appearance.

"Cinderella wanted a couple more dances," Cook said, "but unfortunately, we've got to go back to Rock Hill (S.C.) and begin anew for next year."

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