With starter Jessica Foley sidelined by a sore foot, Duke was forced to play a bigger lineup against Canisius.
It ended up making things worse for the first-time NCAA Tournament team.
Mistie Williams had 21 points and nine rebounds and the Blue Devils overwhelmed the undersized Golden Griffins inside for an 80-48 win in the first round yesterday in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Monique Currie added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils (29-4), seeded second in the Chattanooga Regional. Duke stayed unbeaten in 12 first-round games and advanced to face Boston College tomorrow night.
The Blue Devils, who are making their 11th straight NCAA appearance, are trying to return to the Final Four for the third time in four seasons.
"This is a new season for us," Williams said. "We were ready to jump out of the gates and get this tournament started."
Duke had little trouble in this one, shooting 54 percent and taking a 53-30 rebounding advantage against the 15th-seeded Golden Griffins (21-10). Duke also blocked 10 shots and had 17 offensive rebounds, matching Canisius' defensive rebound total.
Canisius shot just 25 percent for the game.
With the 6-foot Foley out with tendinitis in her left foot, Duke started 6-2 forward Wynter Whitley. That gave the Blue Devils a front line of Whitley, the 6-3 Williams, and the 6-7 Alison Bales against a team with no player taller than 6-3.
Williams went 8 for 9 from the floor, while Whitley scored 12 points in 31 minutes -- both season-highs. Bales, who had felt ill Saturday, finished with 8 points, 6 assists and 6 steals.
Foley, who averages 11 points a game, wore a protective boot on the sideline and was able to rest the injury with the game in hand.
N. Carolina 97, Coppin St. 62 -- Ivory Latta scored 27 points to power the top-seeded Tar Heels' rout of the Lady Eagles in their Tempe Regional opener. Camille Little added 17 points for North Carolina (28-3), which has won 14 straight games since a loss at Florida State in January, and advanced to face George Washington tomorrow.
Sherrie Tucker scored 14 points to lead 16th-seeded Coppin State (23-8) in its first NCAA Tournament game.
G. Washington 60, Mississippi 57 -- Jessica Simmonds scored 14 points to help the Colonials rally from a 14-point second-half deficit. Anna Montanana added 13 points and came up big in the final two minutes for the ninth-seeded Colonials (23-8).