CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Elizabeth Williams didn't make her presence felt for No. 5 Duke against Virginia until the Blue Devils were pulling away.
The Blue Devils hardly seemed to notice as Haley Peters scored 14 points and Chelsea Gray 14, and the tandem sparked a 21-5 run spanning the halves as Duke overcame a slow start and won its 20th consecutive game against Virginia, 62-41.
"E always gets a lot of attention because she deserves it," Peters said after making seven of 10 shots, including a 3-pointer. "I was just trying to be aggressive and focused and attack the basket when the opportunities were there."
The burst turned a 22-13 deficit into a 34-27 lead for Duke (21-1, 11-0 Atlantic Coast Conference). After Virginia closed within four at 34-30, Duke scored nine of the next 11 points and cruised to victory.
"We do a good job as a team of handling things and staying poised and staying steady and not getting rattled" Peters said. "When we do that, we can play well and get ourselves out of ruts."
Williams scored 14 of her 18 points after halftime, and had eight rebounds, four assists, three blocks and a steal.
"When we started going on our runs, it started with defense, as we were dictating everything," she said.
Ataira Franklin led Virginia (14-8, 6-5) with 15 points. The Cavaliers had won three of their last four overall, but shot just 26.7 percent (16 of 60) and had 21 turnovers. They have not beaten the Blue Devils since a 61-49 victory on Jan. 30, 2000.
After leading most of the first half and trailing just 24-22 at halftime, Virginia coach Joanne Boyle, a Duke alum and former Blue Devils assistant, talked to her team about not letting Duke come out firing in the second half to take command.
"It wasn't necessarily the first five minutes," she said. "It was the five minutes after when it really got away from us."