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Boyle and Virginia women lose homecoming to Duke

Duke's Ka'lia Johnson (14) steals the ball from Virginia's Lexie Gerson (14) during the first half of an NCAA women's college basketball game, Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, in Durham, N.C. Duke's Ka'lia Johnson (14) steals the ball from Virginia's Lexie Gerson (14) during the first half of an NCAA women's college basketball game, Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, in Durham, N.C. (AP Photo/Sara D. Davis)
January 2, 2012
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DURHAM, N.C.—Joanne Boyle knows her return to Duke might have been tougher if she hadn't been through an even more emotional game earlier this season.

The first-year Virginia coach, who graduated from Duke in 1985 and was later a Blue Devil assistant for 10 seasons, saw her team put up a solid effort against the No. 7 team in the nation Monday night. But it wasn't good enough for an upset as the Cavaliers fell 77-66 in the ACC opener for both teams.

"I had the emotional piece this year when we played Cal out in Hawaii (losing 59-50 on Nov. 27 to the team Boyle had coached for the previous six seasons)," Boyle said. "It's different walking into a building and coaching against your former players . (but) it was special just to be back in the building and see all the special people here that I know. Duke is just a piece of my heart."

Tricia Liston had 18 points to lead Duke (10-2) while fellow sophomores Haley Peters added 13, Richa Jackson 12 and Chelsea Gray 11 with eight assists.

Ataira Franklin led Virginia (12-3) with 19 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out with 1:49 left, while Ariana Moorer added 18 including 10-for-10 from the free-throw line.

It was Duke's 19th straight win in the series and 31st straight home-court victory.

"Shooting 56 percent against an ACC opponent is pretty outstanding," Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "We might have been able to put a lot more points on the board if we didn't turn the ball over so much. But any time you shoot that kind of percentage against a strong team it shows a lot of ball movement."

Duke won despite getting only eight points - all in the second half - from leading scorer Elizabeth Williams.

"We were active in our zone and didn't give them a lot of touches," Boyle said. "We were doing a good job of getting loose balls and tips and steals, which we didn't necessarily convert in transition."

The Blue Devils were up 41-37 following Franklin's 3-pointer with 17:40 left, but went on a 10-2 run over the next three minutes.

"I definitely think we worked hard," Franklin said. "We've been a team that scraps and has gotten better and tougher on defense, but we need to be a team that not only plays well in adverse situations but doesn't get into adverse situations."

Duke shot 56.3 percent to 39.3 for the Cavaliers, outrebounding them 31-30 and committing 25 turnovers to Virginia's 21.

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