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Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press
Duke's Chelsea Gray, left, smiles as she answers a question as head coach Joanne P. McCallie listens during a news conference, Sunday, March 25, 2012, in Fresno, Calif. Duke is scheduled to play Stanford in a NCAA women's tournament regional final college basketball game on Monday.

Two very important things will happen to most of Duke's women's basketball players between now and October.

They'll get older, and they'll get healthier.

At times, the Blue Devils' starting lineup consisted solely of freshmen and sophomores. Their roster was trimmed to eight scholarship players because of injuries and off-court issues. Yet they still found a way to reach the regional finals for the third straight year.

Another season ended at that stage when top-seeded Stanford beat second-seeded Duke 81-69 on Monday night in the Fresno Regional final.

Coach Joanne P. McCallie calls the loss "a teaching moment" that will serve as "a learning game for all the returning players."