Duke women's basketball scores season-low 48 points in loss to Louisville

The Cardinals forced 22 Blue Devil turnovers and won by 17 points

<p>Redshirt sophomore Rebecca Greenwell scored 14 points, but the Louisville pressure forced 22 Blue Devil turnovers that produced 27 Cardinal points.</p>

Redshirt sophomore Rebecca Greenwell scored 14 points, but the Louisville pressure forced 22 Blue Devil turnovers that produced 27 Cardinal points.

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—One week after Duke committed 32 turnovers in a blowout loss to Syracuse, miscues once again cost the Blue Devils dearly on the road.

Louisville forced the No. 18 Blue Devils into 22 giveaways as the Cardinals took down Duke 65-48 Sunday at the KFC Yum! Center. Myisha Hines-Allen and Asia Durr scored 10 points apiece to stake Louisville to a 31-17 halftime lead, and kept the Blue Devils in search of their first road win since their season opener at Pennsylvania Nov. 13.

"I’d like to compliment Louisville, I thought they played a great game, particularly in the first half. They had some good defense, but we turned the ball over too much and the second half was even, but it wasn’t significant after that first half," Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "They played very aggressively and you just can’t spot a team in that way, not in this league. You have to come out ready to play for 40 minutes and we did not." 

Duke (12-5, 1-2 in the ACC) struggled out of the gates, scoring just eight points in the first quarter against Louisville's press. By halftime, the Blue Devils turnover count had risen to 14—against just 17 points—which the Cardinals (12-5, 4-0) turned into 20 points.

When the Blue Devils gave themselves time to set up their defense in the halfcourt, they often forced Louisville to work late into the shot clock. But head coach Jeff Walz's squad stayed patient—sometimes too patient with a few shot clock violations—working the ball around to eventually find an open look.

Several of those came in the corner, where Mariya Moore and Asia Durr made Duke pay. Louisville finished the day 6-of-26 from downtown, with Moore and Durr accounting for five of those made triples.

Duke's offense was not so fortunate.

In the span of a week, the Blue Devils have oscillated back and forth across the spectrum of offensive success. After posting a season-low 50 points in the loss at Syracuse, Duke responded with a season-high 95 Thursday against Wake Forest.

"Turnovers—pretty simple. We can’t give the ball to the other team," McCallie said. "It’s a two-point opportunity you take away from yourself. It’s a two-point opportunity you give them. It’s a four-point turnaround. If you want to score points, you can’t turn the ball over."

Then came Sunday, when head coach Joanne P. McCallie's squad shot just 39.1 percent en route to 48 points. Sophomore Azurá Stevens managed 12 extend her double-digit streak to 31 games, but the Raleigh native also committed eight turnovers. Making her second trip to her home state this season, redshirt sophomore Rebecca Greenwell scored a team-high 14 points on 4-of-11 shooting, with five of them in the final 20 seconds.

At one point in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals had missed 2 of 11 field goals, but managed to extend their lead, an indication of just how things went on the offensive end of the floor for Duke.

"It just comes down to the fundamentals. We talk about it every game, defense and rebounding and especially turnovers," Greenwell said. "Those three things are going to get you in any game. You have to come to each game with that in your mind and whenever you don’t do those things, it’s obviously not going to turn out the way you want."

In an attempt to give her team more experience in a hostile environment, McCallie started graduate student Amber Henson and Oderah Chidom alongside Stevens, Greenwell and freshman Angela Salvadores. But Duke's four healthy freshmen saw plenty of playing time Sunday, combining for nine points—seven from Salvadores—and eight turnovers.

The Blue Devils return home to Cameron Indoor Stadium Thursday to play N.C. State.


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