Nov. 29, 2002 – The top-ranked Duke University Blue Devils sailed to victory over the Hampton University Pirates 71-34, the University of Arkansas Razorbacks beat the Old Dominion University Monarchs 54-49, and the University of South Carolina Gamecocks rolled over the University of Oregon Ducks 67-40 on Thanksgiving Day, the opening of women's play in the University of the Virgin Islands 2002 Paradise Jam at the Sports and Fitness Center.
The women's tournament continues through Saturday.
Duke 71, Hampton University 34
Even though the Lady Blue Devils cruised over the Lady Pirates, they were far from satisfied with their performance. "We are here enjoying ourselves, which is good, but at the same time we need to be ready to play," Duke's head coach Gail Goestenkors said.
The Blue Devils (2-0) held the Pirates (1-1) to just 20 percent from the field in the first half, with the Pirates missing their first nine field goal attempts. The Pirates made their first field goal basket with 8:42 left in the half.
The Blue Devils used bench for most of the game. "We can start any five at any given time and not lose anything." Alana Beard said. The Pirates missed all 10 of their field goal attempts and got just one point from Angela Burnham from the free throw line in the game. Beard needed just two steals, which she got in the first half, to become Duke's all time steals leader.
The second half petty much mirrored the first as Duke continued to double Hampton's scoring. But the Duke players were not impressed with their performance. "Even if we beat them by 80 points, we did not play the kind of basketball to be national champions," Duke's Iciss Tillis said after the game. "Being No. 1 comes with reasonability. We did not play to the level that we can play to," she explained. "We played terrible today. We did not do the little things we need to do."
Beard was similarly self-critical: "We did not play the type of basketball that we need to play. and we gave up too many offensive rebounds."
Goestenkors had this assessment: "We had no patience offensively. I am really disappointed in the game we played. And we weren't focused. Every night we need to play like champions and work and get better, and tonight we did not." On the other hand, the coach added, "I am just elated about our defensive today. We did a great job with that."
Patricia Cage-Bibbs, Hampton head coach, said, "If we could've just had some of those shots fall, we would have been right in the game." She added, "We did not give up, and I am proud of that."
Beard scored 15 points to lead Duke, and Tillis added 14. Brooke Smith grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
LaShondra Dixon had 11 points to lead Hampton.
Arkansas 54, Old Dominion 49
The second game of the day was a tough test for both teams. The score was tied twice, although the Lady Razorbacks (3-0) never gave up the lead in the second half.
The closing minutes of the game were nail-biters. With 2:45 left, Okieshia Howard hit two clutch free throws to pull the Lady Monarchs (0-2) to within one point, 46-45. India Lewis then made a jumper to build the Razorback lead to three points, 48-45. The Monarchs' Shareese Grant made a lay-up with a little over a minute left. The Razorbacks answered with another basket to once again extend their lead to three points, 50-47.
Grant got the Monarchs to within one point again with 17 seconds remaining in the game, 50-49. Lewis then hit both ends of one-and-one free throw attempts to close out the scoring and the game.
"I liked our defense in the last five minutes, but we have to get better," Arkansas head coach Gary Blair said afterward. "Two good teams are still here, and we have to want to play."
"We competed right down the stretch," Old Dominion's head coach, Wendy Larry, said.
"I tried to stay focused and not let the crowd get into my head, just like it was practice," Lewis said. "I did not play well; I just was in the right place at the right time."
Old Dominion is "one of the most physical teams in the nation," Blair said. "We were intimidated inside, and there is no way we should be." He added, referring to Lewis, "We got the ball in the right player's hands at the right time. She is our best free-throw shooter, and that's who we want with the ball."
Larry credited Arkansas with that, too: "They made free throws when they had to make them … It was unfortunate down the stretch that we could not make some shots." She added, "We are a young team, and this experience will be great for us."
India Lewis had 21 points to lead Arkansas.
Shareese Grant had 13 points to lead Old Dominion, and Okieshia Howard added 12. Monique Coker controlled the boards with a game-high 13 rebounds on her 20th birthday.
South Carolina 67, Oregon 40
The final game of the night was a complete domination from start to finish. The Lady Ducks (1-2) led once, 4-2, early in the game and tied the game twice at 4-4 and 2-2, but from then on, the Gamecocks (3-0) were never seriously challenged.
The Ducks could only manage to get to within 15 points twice in the second half, at 48-33 and again at 50-35.
Jocelyn Penn scored 21 points to lead South Carolina. Petra Ujhelyi had 16, Christina Ciocan , and Koretha Johnson 10. Ujhelyi grabbed 13 rebounds to record a double-double, and Penn added nine rebounds for the Gamecocks.
Andrea Bills had 10 points to lead Oregon.
Still to come
In women's action on Friday, it's Hampton vs. Arkansas at 4 p.m., Old Dominion vs. Duke at 6:15 p.m. and Oregon vs. Boston at 8:30 p.m. Paradise Jam tickets are $5 per game for UVI students with ID, $10 for V.I. resident non-students with ID and $40 for non-residents. For the full Paradise Jam schedule, see the online UVI Calendar.

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