Lexie Brown scored a game-high 24 points to lead Duke to its second top-20 win of the year.

Duke women's basketball player of the week: Week 8

Lexie Brown

The statline:

Thursday vs. Kentucky: 24 points on 6-of-12 shooting, five steals, two rebounds and one assist

The good: For the second game in as many weeks, Brown was the star for the No. 15 Blue Devils, pouring in 24 points and making an impact on defense with five steals.

The All-American junior guard and Maryland transfer was key in knocking off Kentucky at home, the fourth time in six years the Blue Devils have defeated their blueblood foes. Brown got Duke going early with 14 points in the first half, and she pressured the Wildcats on defense from the outset, tallying three steals before the break.

Coming out of the locker room, the Suwanee, Ga., native continued to stifle Kentucky’s guards on defense, helping to hold the Wildcats to a meager 17.6 percent field-goal percentage in the second half. On the offensive end, Brown was equally stellar, knocking down 4-of-7 attempts from behind the arc on the night and finishing a perfect 8-of-8 at the free throw line.

The bad: Brown closed out 2016 with a nearly mistake-free performance as the Blue Devils won their eighth game in a row. Her three turnovers were not ideal, but she made just one in the second half and had none in the fourth quarter. Brown also matched a season low with just one assist.

The bottom line: In Duke’s final game of 2016, Brown showed how far this program has come since last season. Her dominant performance was critical for the Blue Devils as they knocked off a top-20 team for the second time already this season. The junior transfer’s presence has been a big reason why Duke suffered just one loss in nonconference play in 2016, down from three a year ago.

With Brown averaging 17.6 points per game and shooting 39.1 percent from beyond the arc, the Blue Devils have every reason to be confident as they begin conference play with early tests against No. 8 Louisville and No. 7 Florida State in the first week of the ACC season.

Honorable Mention: Oderah Chidom finished with 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting against Kentucky, but her presence on the offensive end was hardly her most important contribution. The Oakland, Calif., native was crucial in shutting down second-team All-SEC forward Evelyn Akhator, who recorded just one point in the contest. Chidom also grabbed three rebounds and dished out two assists, but did cough the ball up seven times.

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