Sunday’s game was the home opener for the No. 7 Blue Devils. Although six players had their first official debuts in historic Cameron Indoor Stadium, four players—Elizabeth Williams, Ka'lia Johnson, Amber Henson and Jenna Frush—had their last.
Duke cruised past Marquette Sunday afternoon with an 83-51 victory thanks in large part to its sheer depth of talent. Four Blue Devils scored double digits with the win, and two players—redshirt freshman Rebecca Greenwell and freshman Azura Stevens—had double-doubles.
“We have a lot of people that can do things and I think it’s [a function of] what we create,” head coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “The experiences of these games are really important. We’re getting better and learning. I think that us working together, placing the team first all the time, and allowing our [strongest players] to go crazy at that point is this best way for us to play the game. I think that’s the way [Greenwell] plays the game, and I think that’s the way [Stevens] played the game tonight. I think that’s the secret.”
Greenwell led Duke past the Golden Eagles with a career-high 22 points—12 of which came from beyond the arc—in her official home debut. Greenwell has impressively scored double digits in all of her games as a Blue Devil thus far. She also pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds, which brought her her second double-double in three games. On top of this, Greenwell tallied two steals and two assists in her 33 minutes of play.
Stevens had an incredibly efficient debut at Cameron Indoor. She scored a career-high 18 points—hitting 8-of-9 field goals—in her third career game. She also matched her career high in rebounds—bringing down 10 in just 18 minutes of play. Like Greenwell, this was Stevens’ second career double-double in three games.
“I feel like my knowledge of the game has increased, and also different aspects of my game as well,” Greenwell said. “Once I got my feet set and started focusing on the shot, they started falling. Once one of us starts making some shots, everyone else starts following behind. I think that really helped us with the flow of the game.”
In the final home debut of her career, senior Elizabeth Williams tallied 12 points, giving her double digits for her 11th straight game dating back to last season. She also had seven rebounds, one assist, one steal and—as is her signature—two blocks in 25 minutes of play.
Senior Ka'lia Johnson led Duke in assists in what was also her final debut at Cameron. She also had six rebounds and a steal. Although this does not compare to the triple-double she had in the Blue Devils’ game against Old Dominion, she played the point guard position well by facilitating the offense. She has started eight consecutive games at the point dating back to last season.
“We had some performances at Old Dominion that were pretty spectacular, but not tonight,” McCallie said. “Anybody can have a good night. The great players are going to show up every night. The All-Americans, the great players, night in night out deliver under any circumstance. We’re still developing that consistency.”
McCallie reached deep into her bench today. The four Blue Devils besides Greenwell and Stevens who debuted at Cameron Sunday had a combined 11 points and four rebounds on a total of 35 minutes.
Both Jenna Frush and Amber Henson made their final home debuts Sunday. Henson had four points, one rebound, two assists and one block in her 16 minutes of play. Frush had one steal in her two minutes on Coach K Court.
Sunday's win against Marquette displayed just how deep McCallie's bench is. The win is somewhat bittersweet because it marks the beginning of the end for four Duke seniors, but it also marks the beginning of six promising careers with the Blue Devils' new talents.
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