The Blue Devils took the court to welcome Winthrop to Cameron Indoor Stadium Sunday afternoon, but there seemed to be something different as they made their way out of the locker room.
Graduate student Rebecca Greenwell, half of the iconic “Splash Sister” duo, was not dressed out and did not play in Sunday’s matchup due to knee pain.
With Greenwell's chance at history delayed for another game—she is only two made 3-pointers away from Duke’s career record of 252—the Blue Devils nearly set a different record. The 14th-ranked Blue Devils had a chance at their school record for the fewest points they have ever allowed in a game until the Eagles surpassed 24 in the final three minutes, and Duke wound up taking the victory 101-30.
“We just set goals. We knew what kind of game we were coming into,” graduate student Lexie Brown said. “By no means did we think it was going to be a walk in the park. But we’ve got to set personal goals and make this game about us getting better.”
The Blue Devils made their presence known when they came out in full force in the first quarter, shutting out the Eagles for the first five minutes. Haley Gorecki, replacing Greenwell in the starting lineup, scored six of Duke’s first eight points with back-to-back triples.
Six-foot-3 center Bego Faz Davalos started for the second time this season in place of freshman point guard Mikayla Boykin, helping the Blue Devils get nearly twice as many rebounds as the undersized Eagles.
Brown, coming off of a near triple-double in the Blue Devils' last game against UNC Greensboro, scored 30 points to match the Eagles' total by herself. Brown also totaled six assists, four rebounds and six steals.
Duke (7-2) ended the first half with a 52-12 lead, but it wasn’t all in the hands of the starters.
The Blue Devils went to their bench early and often, with many reserves contributing to Duke’s tremendous lead throughout the game. Of the five players that came off the bench, four of them were freshmen. Jade Williams and Boykin combined for 13 rebounds, while Jayda Adams and Madison Treece combined to score 10 points.
Boykin exited the game with 1:24 left in the third quarter and sat out the rest of the way, but McCallie said she was fine after the game.
Junior Faith Suggs also came off the bench with eight points, and all 10 Blue Devils to see the court made at least one bucket.
“It’s fun to see them out there playing together and getting experience,” Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie said.
Nothing changed for the Blue Devils as the second half began. Brown drained yet another three on the first possession of the half, followed by a steal from sophomore Leaonna Odom and another 3-pointer by Haley Gorecki.
A redshirt sophomore, Gorecki finished with a career-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. The Blue Devils again held the Eagles (1-8) scoreless to start the half until 2:27 remained in the third quarter.
“No game is easy unless you make it that way,” McCallie said. “It’s what we create and it’s what we’re responsible for on the court.”
The Blue Devils will return to Cameron Dec. 19 after breaking for exams to face Maine, where McCallie coached from 1992-2000.
“My former point guard, [Amy Vachon], coaches at Maine. She was the point guard that led Maine to defeat Stanford in the NCAA Tournament,” McCallie said. “She was a very savvy point guard, and I have a lot of fond memories with Amy. That was a very special moment we shared many, many moons ago.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Lexie Brown matched her career high with 32 points. Duke later lowered her scoring total to 30 points.
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