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SATURDAY, JANUARY 1, 2005
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Auburn women fall to No. 2 Duke

AUBURN (AP) — Wanisha Smith is looking forward to conference play after No. 2 Duke routed Auburn 80-61 in the Holiday Classic on Friday.

Smith scored 15 points and five teammates reached double figures for the Blue Devils (13-1), who won their 11 straight game.

"I think the depth that we used also gives us confidence in knowing that off the bench we have good players," Smith said. "It is something that will help us throughout conference play and into the tournament."

Duke faces Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Virginia Tech on Jan. 9 after hosting Holy Cross on Tuesday.

Alison Bales scored 14 points and Jessica Foley had 11, including three from 3-point range for the Blue Devils. Mistie Williams, Monique Currie and Laura Kurz added 10 points apiece.

Williams pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds for Duke, which dominated the boards 45-35.

"Their rebounding really hurt us," Auburn coach Nell Fortner said. "They're so much bigger than us, and we just couldn't keep them off the boards."

Natasha Brackett led the Tigers (9-3) with 16 points, while Louise Emeagi had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Duke led 39-28 at halftime and shot 52 percent for the game.

The Blue Devils opened the first half with a 10-3 run and never trailed, leading by as many as 31 points in the second half.

The Tigers capitalized on Duke's 17 turnovers, scoring 22 points, but shot 31 percent.

New Orleans (5-7) at No. 18 Alabama (10-2)

Tipoff: Today at 6 p.m. at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa.

TV: CSS

Alabama lineup: F Kennedy Winston, 6-6, Jr., 17.8 ppg., 6.6 rpg.; F Chuck Davis, 6-7, Jr., 16.8 ppg., 7.9 rpg.; C Jermareo Davidson, 6-10, So., 8.5 ppg., 8 rpg.; G Earnest Shelton, 6-3, Sr., 17.6 ppg., 3.3 rpg.; G Ronald Steele, 6-2, Fr., 9.5 ppg., 5.6 assists.

New Orleans lineup: F Chad Barnes, 6-3, Jr., 10.3 ppg., 3.3 rpg.: F Shawn Malloy, 6-10, Jr., 8.8 ppg., 6.6 rpg.; C Ben Elias, 6-10, So., 6.3 ppg., 5.3 rpg.; G Bo McCalebb, 6-0, So., 21.3 ppg., 4.5 rpg.; G Jamie McNeilly, 6-3, So., 6.5 ppg., 3.6 assists.

Noteworthy: Alabama guard Al Weber hails from New Orleans and played AAU basketball with Privateers' leading scorer Bo McCalebb. . . . The Tide's past meeting with the Privateers came during the 1987 NCAA tournament in Birmingham. Current Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried tallied 20 points in the Tide's second-round victory. . . . Today marks the final game of Alabama's preseason non-conference schedule. The Tide visits Vanderbilt on Wednesday at 9 p.m. in a game televised by ESPN.

— Gentry Estes, DAILY Sports Writer

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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