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Greenwell eclipses 1,000 career point threshold as Duke women's basketball rolls against Longwood

<p>Redshirt junior Rebecca Greenwell scored 15 first-half points as the Blue Devils opened up a 36-point halftime&nbsp;lead.</p>

Redshirt junior Rebecca Greenwell scored 15 first-half points as the Blue Devils opened up a 36-point halftime lead.

The Blue Devils were calling their top two guards the “Splash Sisters” leading up to the season, comparing them to Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

On Tuesday night, Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell showed why.

The duo combined for 34 points in the first half and six 3-pointers as Duke built a 55-19 halftime lead on its way to a 105-48 romp against Longwood Tuesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils had 19 steals in the opening 20 minutes—the most they had in an entire game all of last season was 16—and turned 22 Lancer turnovers into 30 points.

Greenwell was lethal with a career-high 30 points on 10-of-20 from the field, and the redshirt junior surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career in the second half following her fifth 3-pointer of the game.

“I didn’t know. I knew I was close. I didn’t know the exact number, but then once, at the end of the game, I kind of had an idea because we kept on running all these plays where I was trying to get a three, so I kind of could tell after that,” Greenwell said. “It definitely feels great. It’s something I’ve always wanted to accomplish and I’m just really thankful to have the opportunity to do it here and get the win as well.”

Brown also finished the game with a dominant scoring performance with 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting and added seven assists.

She began the game with two triples in the first three minutes and punished Longwood’s zone defense when the Lancers were slow to react to Duke’s dangerous shooters.

“My coaches and my teammates always just say shooters just keep shooting. So whether I start 0-for-6 or 6-for-6, I just have the same mindset,” Brown said.

The Blue Devils (3-0) were coming off a 68-55 win against Pennsylvania Sunday and got off to an explosive start, opening up a 33-15 lead Tuesday after one quarter thanks to a 16-2 run.

The Duke defense then buckled down in the second quarter, using its fullcourt press to force Longwood’s ball handlers into several miscues that sparked the Blue Devil fastbreak attack. Duke mixed in various zone presses with their normal man-to-man scheme to frustrate the Lancers all night long.

Longwood (0-2) finished the game with 34 turnovers and shot just 31.7 percent from the field.

“Our defense tonight was really successful due to the leadership of Becca, Lexie and Oderah [Chidom]. The older kids want to be a lot better defensively,” Blue Devil head coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “We wouldn’t normally play that many defenses in a game, but it was good for us to practice them and see where we are and what we have to improve on.”

With the outcome all but decided early on, the Blue Devils got their other players involved in the offense after halftime. Following a rough outing Sunday, junior Erin Mathias posted a career-high 13 points to go along with six rebounds.

With Greenwell and Brown likely to get the brunt of defensive attention, Duke’s role players will have to step up later in the nonconference schedule when the Blue Devils take on a trio of SEC teams.

“Erin has not only grown in her confidence from this summer but she also is in the best shape of her career. Physically, she can run longer, she can run harder and she’s a lot stronger,” McCallie said. “Honestly, every player on this team is in the best shape I’ve seen them in.”

Duke will look to keep rolling Thursday against Grand Canyon before hitting the road for a Sunday test at Vanderbilt.