ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands – After a sluggish first half, Duke finally got going offensively against Kansas.
The second-ranked Blue Devils had their worst offensive first half of the season before pulling away for a 73-40 rout of the Jayhawks on Saturday at the Paradise Jam.
''It was a great second half, we played well offensively,'' Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. ''The first half our defense was good, but our offense was impatient.''
Duke led 29-20 at the half before scoring 17 of the first 21 points in the second half to blow open the game. Alexis Jones had five points and three steals during the burst, which was capped by Elizabeth Williams' layup with 14:27 left that made it 46-24.
''We were in attack mode from the beginning and right away we were scoring and distanced ourselves. We were a little more patient on offense,'' McCallie said.
Tricia Liston scored 19 points and Williams added 17 to lead Duke (8-0). Liston earned MVP honors of the tournament.
''That's great, but overall glad we won all three games and played the way we wanted to,'' Liston said.
Duke played the whole tournament without senior post Haley Peters, who injured her right knee against Vanderbilt on Nov. 21.
''Missing Haley's big for us,'' Liston said. ''It gave a lot of people opportunities to get a lot of minutes. That will help us down the stretch.''
Freshman Oderah Chidom added seven points and 14 rebounds for the Blue Devils.
Kansas (4-3) never got closer than 20 the rest of the way.