Just a few days after suffering their first loss of the season, the Blue Devils were certainly thankful for a couple of days off as they begin to get into the heart of their nonconference schedule.

No. 16 Duke will host No. 18 Oregon State at 3 p.m. Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium and then make a quick turnaround Sunday with another home contest against Presbyterian as the Blue Devils wrap up a string of three games in just five days during Thanksgiving break. Duke is returning to Durham following two games on the road—a surprise upset loss at Villanova last Sunday before a bounce-back win in Norfolk, Va., against Old Dominion Wednesday evening. 

The Blue Devils won their lone home game so far this season and have lost just once in their last 18 contests at Cameron Indoor Stadium, with the lone loss coming at the hands of Oregon State’s in-state rival, Oregon, in last year's NCAA tournament. 

“[Our loss] was very disappointing at Villanova for a lot of reasons, but it’s a new day today. I liked how the team was focused and ready [at Old Dominion],” Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "I thought we had very good leadership from Becca and Lexie in particular. We can play a lot better, but it was great to be out being more patient, making more stops defensively and communicating better overall on our defense.”

When the Beavers visit Saturday, the Blue Devils’ main concern defensively will be containing their opponent on the perimeter. Oregon State (3-1) boasts the seventh-best 3-point percentage in the nation, and relies heavily on two players, Kat Tudor and Taylor Kalmer, to dominate from beyond the arc. Marie Gulich and Mikayla Pivec round out the bulk of the offense for the Beavers, who have averaged 81.8 points per game through four contests this season. 

The battle beyond the 3-point line will be a key area for Duke (3-1) as well, which leans on one of the nation's best backcourt duos in redshirt seniors Rebecca Greenwell and Lexie Brown. The Blue Devils’ performance from deep has already proven to be critical this season—in their lone loss, they made just 2-of-12 3-point attempts. In their other four games, all double-digit wins, Duke is shooting better than 50 percent from beyond the arc.

Greenwell and Brown have been particularly important in developing the outside scoring threat for the Blue Devils. Greenwell’s 51.1 percent 3-point percentage is good for first in the ACC, and Brown’s ability to pull up from deep—she has converted on just under 40 percent of her chances since arriving at Duke last fall—allows the floor general to spread the floor and find lanes to attack the hoop off the dribble. 

The pair combined to score 50 points in the Blue Devils’ win against Old Dominion Wednesday after scoring less than half of that in their loss Sunday. 

“We can certainly shoot the basketball, and we have a great deal of confidence in that. I think the key is understanding how to go through the paint," McCallie said. "[Against Old Dominion] we didn’t score as many points in the paint but we still [went through it], and when you go through, you can collapse the defense and you can have better spacing.

“I thought all of our threes were excellent. It was from ball movement, or ball reversal, a few in transition. It’s the way you set shots up that sets up your rebounding as well.” 

Controlling the paint against the Beavers will be complicated by Gullich and Pivic, who average more than 16 rebounds per game together. The Beavers' roster features only four players shorter than 6-feet, and Oregon State outrebounds its opponents by seven boards per game. 

Duke, the fifth-tallest team in the nation by comparison, averages a plus-17 rebounding margin, led by Leaonna Odom and Erin Mathias. 

After hosting the Beavers Saturday, the Blue Devils will have to turn their attention quickly to Presbyterian Sunday. The Blue Hose (1-4) have had a rough start to the season, losing their last two games by a combined 29 points to Chattanooga and Kennesaw State. 

Cortney Storey has led a Presbyterian offense that has struggled to get to the basket this season. Storey is averaging 17.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per game for the Blue Hose, who Duke defeated 84-45 last season in Durham. 

“I don’t care who they are or who you are, it’s a battle out there and you've really got to be willing to get out there and fight,” McCallie said. “I thought we did some very good things [against Old Dominion], and we’re going to continue that as we go.”