Duke women's basketball falls out of AP top 25 for first time since 1999

For the first time in 312 weeks, the Blue Devils are unranked.

Thursday's 65-62 home loss to N.C. State was likely to cost Duke its spot in the AP top 25, a fate the poll voters confirmed Monday afternoon, ending a streak that began Nov. 29, 1999—the third-longest in history.

The Blue Devils bounced back with a 71-51 win against Boston College Sunday—ending a two-game skid—but still sit at 2-3 in the ACC.

Duke is 13-6 overall, but has struggled against top-caliber competition this season, particularly on the road. The Blue Devils opened the season ranked No. 14, but climbed as high as No. 12 despite losses against then-No. 12 Texas A&M, No. 2 South Carolina and then-No. 8 Kentucky. After a 36-point loss to Syracuse to open ACC play Jan. 3, head coach Joanne P. McCallie's squad dropped to No. 18, and another lopsided road defeat at Louisville Jan. 10 sent Duke to No. 22.

The loss against the Wolfpack Thursday—which snapped a 152-game home winning streak against unranked opponents—went down to the wire, but N.C. State's hot shooting and veteran guard play made the difference down the stretch.

The Blue Devils have been hampered by injuries of late—redshirt freshman forward Lyneé Belton has missed the past two games with a sprained ankle, and freshman point guard Angela Salvadores sat out of Sunday's win after tweaking an ankle against the Wolfpack. Freshman guard Haley Gorecki has been sidelined since the loss at Syracuse with a hip injury, and junior forward Kendall Cooper is not enrolled in classes this semester.

Duke received the 29th-most votes in the latest edition of the poll, and can start making its case to re-enter the rankings beginning Thursday at Clemson. The next marquee opponent on the Blue Devils' schedule is No. 3 Notre Dame, which visits Durham Feb. 1. Duke has not beaten the Fighting Irish since Notre Dame joined the ACC for the 2013-14 season.


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