Williams leads Duke women over St. John's

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 09, 2012 21:00 hrs

Elizabeth Williams had 16 points and five blocks to help No. 4 Duke beat St. John's 60-42 on Sunday in the seventh annual Maggie Dixon Classic.

Haley Peters added 11 points for the Blue Devils (8-0), who are off for the next week for exams. The two teams met last season in the NCAA tournament regional semifinals and the Blue Devils routed the Red Storm 74-47.

Nadirah McKenith had 19 points to lead St. John's (4-3).

Trailing 11-10 early on, Duke scored 15 of the next 17 points to take control. Williams' three-point play made it 17-11 and Alexis Jones' layup capped the burst. St. John's cut its deficit to nine before Duke closed the half with an 8-2 run to go up 36-21.

McKenith tried to keep the Red Storm in the game, scoring the team's first 12 points in the second half, but St. John's couldn't get within single digits because of Williams.

The 6-foot-3 sophomore also had seven rebounds. She was the ACC rookie and defensive player of the year last season and leads the league this year in blocked shots. That's despite a stress fracture in her lower right leg that bothered her during the NCAA tournament last March and continues to heal.

Rutgers (5-3) routed Louisiana Tech 73-46 in the first game of the women's doubleheader. That contest marked the return of former New York Liberty star Teresa Weatherspoon to the Garden as the coach of the Lady Techsters.

Weatherspoon played for the Liberty from 1997-2003, guiding them to four WNBA finals appearances. She's coached the Lady Techsters (2-5) to winning seasons in each of her first four years at the school, where she was a star guard in the 1980s.

Weatherspoon won the Maggie Dixon rookie coach of the year in 2010. Rutgers was playing in the event for the fifth time.

The doubleheader is played in honor of Maggie Dixon, the former Army women's basketball coach who died in April 2006, of arrhythmia, probably caused by an enlarged heart. Her death came three weeks after her first season as a head coach, where she led Army to its first NCAA berth.

The first Maggie Dixon Classic was held at Army in 2006 — a men's and women's doubleheader. The Pittsburgh men, coached by Maggie's brother Jamie, beat Western Michigan, and Ohio State routed Army. The last six classics have been played at Madison Square Garden.

"It's still emotional, It's exciting. Everyone wants to be a part of this event," Jamie Dixon said. "It's not hard to find the best teams in the country. We're excited to have the four teams we had today."

Along with games at the Garden, there was a health and heart expo.


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