During a sluggish stretch to begin the season, Duke’s hallmark lights-out 3-point shooting had vanished—the Blue Devils made just three combined triples in an ugly win against High Point and a road loss to Villanova.

But captain Lexie Brown finally answered the call on the offensive end Wednesday night. 

With another tight game brewing at the outset against lowly Old Dominion, the graduate student captain nailed a deep 3-pointer midway through the first quarter, sending No. 16 Duke on a tone-setting 15-3 run as the Blue Devils routed the Monarchs 84-51 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. With Brown pouring in 28 points including four 3-pointers, Rebecca Greenwell added 22 of her own on 6-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc.

Together, the duo nearly outscored Old Dominion on its own, and Duke's 13 triples tied a single-game school record. 

"It was a little bit of frustration from the last game,” Brown said. “I spent a lot of time in the gym after that. I felt like I was bound to have a game like this before our big games start coming up.”

The Blue Devils (3-1) were coming off a gut-punch of a loss against Villanova in which they couldn’t hit anything from deep and coughed up the ball 15 times. The Monarchs (0-5), however, are off to their worst start in recent history and couldn’t match Duke’s speed and athleticism, failing to make a 2-pointer for the first 17 minutes of the game.

Brown and Greenwell fueled Duke’s offense early and often, helping the Blue Devils score 11 of their 13 unanswered points to close the first quarter and jump on top 22-6. 

The duo also combined for five steals, putting pressure on an Old Dominion offense that shot 7-of-30 from beyond the arc and just 28.3 percent overall. 

“We can play a lot better, but it was great to be out being more patient, making more stops defensively and communicating better overall on defense,” head coach Joanne P. McCallie said.

After a quick Monarch layup to begin the second half, Brown helped key an 8-0 run with a 3-pointer and an and-one layup to help Duke pull away for good. As they have all season, the Blue Devils continued to own the glass, outrebounding the Monarchs 48-36. Duke was led by 17 combined rebounds from Greenwell and Brown, who finished just two boards and two assists shy of a triple-double. 

“We were finally flowing offensively,” Brown said. “We had been struggling as a team to start off the season. But that was expected—we have a lot of new faces who are learning a lot of new things and a lot of young players as well. We’re just getting into the swing of things.”

But the absence of production from Greenwell and Brown’s supporting cast continues to be cause for concern. Duke’s reserves came into Wednesday averaging just 9.3 points per game—and outside of an above-average performance from Haley Gorecki, they failed to deliver again. Gorecki scored 11 points on 3-of-5 3-point shooting, but the rest of the bench scored just nine points. 

“We really want to build our bench,” McCallie said. “Haley Gorecki did a great job. She came out with a real of purpose.... Everybody did a little something. We want to grow our bench as much as possible.”

The other Blue Devil starters didn’t do much either. Highly-touted freshman Mikayla Boykin shot an abysmal 1-of-10 from the field, making just a layup, and Leaonna Odom got in foul trouble, playing just 16 minutes. 

Center Erin Mathias did her job with seven points and six rebounds, but the Blue Devils will need more production outside of the 'Splash Sisters' against stiffer competition, which they will get their first taste of this weekend. 

Duke will travel back home to play No. 18 Oregon State Saturday at 3 p.m. The stout Beavers fell narrowly to No. 6 Notre Dame Saturday at home before routing N.C. Central Wednesday afternoon in Durham.

“It was a good team win that we want to carry into the next few games,” Greenwell said. “We have some really tough games coming up, so it was good to have a win like this.”