Updated at: 02/14/2013 7:38 PM
By HANK KURZ Jr.
(AP) BLACKSBURG, Va. - Elizabeth Williams and Haley Peters each matched their career high with 25 points apiece as No. 5 Duke took a big early lead against overmatched Virginia Tech and cruised to its seventh straight victory, 77-33.
The Blue Devils (23-1, 13-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) forced 18 first-half turnovers and led 40-14 at the intermission on their way to their 29th consecutive road victory against an unranked opponent.
The loss Thursday night was the 11th in 12 games for Virginia Tech (8-16, 2-11) and its second lopsided setback against the Blue Devils this season. Duke won 58-26 just over a month ago in Durham, N.C.
Alyssa Fenyn led Virginia Tech with seven points and Lauren Evans had six.
The game got out of hand almost immediately.
Peters, who was scoreless in the Blue Devils’ 15-point victory against No. 7 Maryland on Monday night, made the first of her four 3-pointers 13 seconds into the game. She added a jumper and another 3-pointer with the game barely 2 minutes old, an 8-0 run. After Laura Evans’ baseline 10-footer for the Hokies, Alexis Jones scored on a drive for Duke and Williams scored the next four points to make it 14-2 after 4:05.
The Hokies pulled within 21-9 on Fenyn’s desperate, one-footed heave to barely beat the shot clock with 12:18 to go in the half, then managed just two field goals to rest of the way as they committed 12 of their 18 first-half turnovers. Duke’s 19-5 burst to end the half made it academic at 40-14.
Just for good measure, Williams scored the first six points of the second half, sparking a 16-7 run, and it wasn’t until 15 minutes remained the Hokies’ point total exceeded their turnovers.
Despite the huge advantage, Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie substituted freely in the second half, but didn’t remove her starters for good until less than 5 minutes remained, drawing the ire of Hokies fans.
Until Fenyn’s 3-pointer 1:37 before halftime, Williams (14) and Peters (13) were both outscoring the Hokies, who shot just 33 percent (6 of 18) even though Fenyn was 3 for 3.
Virginia Tech finished 15 of 54 from the field (27.8 percent) and had 23 turnovers.
Duke shot 46.3 percent (25 of 54) with 10 steals and six blocks.
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(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)