Following the team’s introduction at last weekend’s Countdown to Craziness, Duke hosted its annual Blue-White scrimmage at Cameron Indoor Stadium Saturday afternoon. For the first time, the scrimmage featured four 10-minute quarters, with the team playing among themselves for the first three quarters, and teaming up against the scout squad for the final quarter. Returning starters Amber Henson and Rebecca Greenwell and junior transfer Lexie Brown impressed right from the opening tip for their respective teams. The White team surged to a quick 7-2 lead, but the Blue squad came back to win the first quarter 15-14. The White team battled in a sloppy second quarter to win 32-29, and continued on to win a closely-contested third quarter 52-50. Returners Mercedes Riggs, Kendall Cooper, Lyneé Belton and freshman Angela Salvadores were held out of the game with injuries.
Here are some observations from the scrimmage:
- The first-quarter starters for the Blue team were Lexie Brown, Faith Suggs, Crystal Primm, Oderah Chidom and Erin Mathias, and the first-quarter starters for the White team were Rebecca Greenwell, Kyra Lambert, Haley Gorecki, Azurá Stevens and Amber Henson.
- Only four players remained with their respective teams during the entirety of the intra-squad scrimmage. Brown and Suggs stayed on Blue, while Greenwell and Henson were constants for White.
- Both the Blue and White squads struggled handling the ball in the first half, as the teams combined for 23 turnovers. The Blue team took advantage of additional chances as it outscored the White team 16-3 in second-chance opportunities.
- Gorecki looked comfortable from the start. The Palatine, Ill., native scored the game’s first points after drawing a foul late in the possession to give the Blue team another chance to on offense. She had seven points in the first half on 3-of-5 shooting. Gorecki also had perhaps the game’s most impressive play, combining with Greenwell for a fast break layup early in the second half.
- After winning the Iron Devil award for her excellence in the weight room in the offseason, Greenwell forced multiple turnovers, and capped off her play with an impressive layup converted in between two defenders. She was much more involved on defense in the second quarter, starring as the White team took back its lead going into halftime. Greenwell shot 3-of-6 in the first half, scoring eight points and contributing defensively with five steals.
- Brown carried the Blue team in the first half as she scored five points and dished out an assist. She continued to be aggressive in the second half, as she drained three deep 3-pointers. After transferring from Maryland, Brown will sit out this season due to NCAA transfer restrictions.
- Stevens often put herself in great position to score, but struggled to convert at times. The 6-foot-6 sophomore contributed nine points, but shot only 1-of-11 from the field, as she did the majority of her damage from the free throw line. Stevens continued to struggle in the third quarter, but continued her aggressive offensive play.
- Henson’s veteran play was key for the White team. Henson led the team in the first half with 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting, and showcased her ability to pass out of the post.
- Lambert, despite a tough matchup against Brown, played a steady point guard. She displayed her dribbling expertise by breaking down the White team's press on multiple occasions.
- Chidom, coming off a left shoulder injury, appeared hesitant on offense and had six turnovers in the first half. She looked more comfortable in the second half, but continued to play tentatively.
- The fourth quarter featured a back-and-forth battle against the scout team, and the quarter ended in an 11-11 tie. Brown made two free throws with 1.5 seconds left to tie the game. Nine Blue Devils saw action, and Erin Mathias led the team with five rebounds in the final period.