DURHAM, N.C. – Guard Tricia Liston was named the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Week (POW) on Monday by a vote of the Blue Ribbon Panel after leading the third-ranked Duke Blue Devils to consecutive victories over the Virginia Cavaliers and Virginia Tech Hokies.
As senior guard Chelsea Gray underwent successful right knee surgery last Friday, Liston and the Blue Devils tallied their first two wins without her in the lineup.
After suffering a fractured kneecap injury in a game against Boston College on Jan. 12, Gray, a two-time All-America, ended her season and collegiate career early as the result of reinjuring the same knee that she dislocated last season.
While playing without Gray was unfortunate, it was a familiar circumstance for the Blue Devils to deal with after losing her for the season last February.
Duke (18-1, 5-0) first completed a 90-55 victory over the Cavaliers on Thursday and won the team’s 41st straight ACC game in Cameron Indoor Stadium as Liston tallied 21 points and tied a career high with 12 rebounds, while forwards Elizabeth Williams and Richa Jackson added 17 and 16 points respectively.
The Blue Devils blocked a season-high 13 shots and hit 56 percent of their field goals against the Cavaliers while establishing a new record in winning point differential as the 35-point victory was the largest in school history breaking the previous high of 34.
Against the Hokies on Sunday, Duke seemed to miss Gray’s offensive output (10.8 points, 7.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.9 steals per game) and ability to make big plays on defense, but Liston and fellow guard Alexis Jones stepped up to keep the Blue Devils undefeated in conference play.
Liston tallied a team-high 22 points, six rebounds and three assists in 38 minutes played, while Jones posted 19 points and dropped a career-high four three-pointers that was part of the Blue Devils’ 10 total made from beyond the arc that was enough to top the Hokies 74-70.
Liston has played nine games this season when finishing with 20 or more points (22 for her career), and ranks second nationally in the NCAA with a 50-percent three-point field goal average.
Her ACC Player of the Week accolade was the second of her career as she also earned the honor as a junior.