Staff photo by Chuck Liddy
DURHAM (AP) — Karima Christmas scored 10 of her career-high 14 points in the second half and chased down the critical rebound that led No. 8 Duke past No. 3 Stanford 56-52 on Tuesday night.
Chante Black added 14 points for the Blue Devils (7-1), who never trailed in the second half in snapping Stanford's six-game winning streak. Duke improved its nonconference record at Cameron Indoor Stadium to 53-4 over the past eight seasons.
Jayne Appel had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Stanford (7-2), while Jeanette Pohlen added 13 points, including a 3-pointer from the right corner with 1:05 remaining that pulled the Cardinal within 54-52.
Black hit the front end of a 1-and-1 with 18.6 seconds left but missed her second attempt. Christmas outjumped the Cardinal's front line for the rebound and got it to Abby Waner, whose free throw made it a four-point game.
Duke outrebounded Stanford 40-39 despite the Cardinal having six players who are at least 6-foot-3 on the roster. The Blue Devils held the Cardinal to 38.5 percent shooting, snapping their three-game streak in which they made at least half their shots.
While both schools regularly play high-profile nonconference games, the women's powerhouses met for the first time in a decade, with the Cardinal making their first visit to Cameron since 1988 — well before the Blue Devils joined them as national championship contenders.
Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer scheduled the matchup — the first game of the Cardinal's three-game Southeastern road swing — to get her team tournament-ready.
Duke's Joanne P. McCallie improved to 3-0 against Stanford, with her previous two victories coming in NCAA tournaments at her former stops, Maine and Michigan State.
Duke fell behind by nine after a miserable start in which the undersized Blue Devils didn't have any offensive rebounds during the first 12½ minutes and missed their first eight 3-point shots.
Once they tightened up the defense and started forcing some Stanford mistakes, they tightened up the game, too, taking their first lead when Black's transition layup made it 21-20 with 6 minutes left in the half.
They went ahead to stay 3½ minutes later on Joy Cheek's 3 from the right wing. Stanford's lone tie of the second half came at the 14-minute mark, when Melanie Murphy's baseline drive made it 36-all.