The Blue Devils had their best week of the season during Thanksgiving in paradise, and they look to build on their momentum after returning home.

No. 14 Duke welcomes Minnesota to Cameron Indoor Stadium for an ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup Thursday at 7 p.m., after winning the Mayan Tournament at the Cancún Challenge convincingly last week. The Blue Devils won their three games in Cancún, Mexico, by an average of 31.7 points per game and held both Iowa State and Texas State to fewer than 50 points.

“It’s just a great feeling to play well together defensively and we’re just starting to get a feel for that on our trip,” Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “We’d like to bring it to Cameron, the kind of defense that we’ve been playing—forcing bad shots, really shot-contesting, limiting them to one bad shot—so hopefully we can do that against a very good Minnesota team.”

The Golden Gophers (4-1) have a lot more offensive firepower than the teams Duke (6-1) faced in Cancún, though, averaging 85.0 points per game. Redshirt senior Rachel Banham is fifth in the nation in scoring at 25.0 points per game and became the Golden Gophers’ all-time leading scorer Nov. 28 in an overtime loss to Auburn. The Lakeville, Minn., native is shooting 46.5 percent from 3-point range this season and 86.4 percent from the free throw line.

Banham is the focal point of Minnesota’s offense, but she has some help in the starting backcourt. Senior Mikayla Bailey is an accurate spot-up shooter who has made 19-of-43 attempts from beyond the arc this year—good for 44.2 percent—and sophomore Carlie Wagner averages 18.6 points per game. All three guards average at least 30 minutes per game and will keep the pressure on Duke’s young ball-handlers to stay disciplined on defense throughout the contest.

“We have to be aware of their go-to players,” redshirt sophomore guard Rebecca Greenwell said. “We know who their scorers are. Everyone on their team can really shoot the three, so we’re just going to try to key in on those main players and I think the games we had in Cancún really prepared us for that.”

The Golden Gophers’ strong suit is their guard play, but their lack of size will make it difficult for them to match up with the Blue Devils in the post. Duke is outrebounding its opponents by an average of 12.9 boards per game so far this season, sparked by a strong start to the year for sophomore forward Azurá Stevens.

The Raleigh, N.C., native was named MVP of last weekend’s tournament and is averaging a double-double with 18.9 points and 10.0 rebounds this year. Standing at 6-foot-6, Stevens is a matchup nightmare for most teams, and Minnesota may have similar problems defending her with nobody in its main rotation taller than 6-foot-3. Former Golden Gopher Amanda Zahui B. would have presented a stiff challenge, but the 6-foot-5 center departed for the WNBA after a standout sophomore season in 2014-15.

McCallie remarked several times early in the season that there needed to be other contributors on the boards besides Stevens, and the Blue Devils finally began to capitalize on their frontcourt depth last week. Forwards Kendall Cooper and Oderah Chidom both had double-digit rebounding games in the tournament, and Greenwell led the team in rebounding with seven Saturday against Texas State.

“Coach P gets onto us about trying to have two people in double-figure rebounding, and she gets onto me personally a lot about that,” Greenwell said. “The past few games, especially in Cancún, I tried to key in on offensive [and] defensive rebounding, so [I’m] just trying to carry that into tomorrow too.”

Offensive rebounds often lead to kick-outs to shooters, and Duke’s young backcourt has made major strides from the perimeter since its Nov. 18 loss to Texas A&M. Freshman Angela Salvadores came off the bench to score a career-high 13 points Nov. 22 against Army and made her first three starts in the Cancún Challenge.

Salvadores’ classmate Haley Gorecki shot 7-of-13 from beyond the arc during the tournament after missing the game against the Black Knights with a hurt ankle. She could be another reliable shooter alongside Greenwell in the backcourt and provide valuable scoring off the bench for the Blue Devils.

“She is an excellent player and a consistent scorer,” McCallie said. “That ankle injury slowed her down, [but] she’s feeling a lot better, and we’re very excited about her on both sides of the ball, defensively and offensively.”

Thursday’s game will be one of seven games on the last day of the ninth annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which is similar to the men’s version of the event that wrapped up Wednesday. The ACC has never lost the challenge —boasting a 6-0-2 mark—and a Duke win against the Golden Gophers would help the conference continue its run of dominance for another year.