After a crushing defeat Sunday afternoon down Tobacco Road, Duke looked to bounce back against a struggling ACC school with the help of a change to the starting lineup. But it was not the lineup shift that sparked the Blue Devils’ eventual double-digit run.

No. 18 Duke struggled out of the gate, but soon took control of the tempo en route to a 75-50 victory against Boston College Thursday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. After giving up a season-high 92 points in an overtime loss to North Carolina Sunday, the Blue Devils bounced back in a big way. Graduate student Lexie Brown exploded for 19 points and five steals, and classmate Rebecca Greenwell scored an efficient 19 points with only nine attempts from the field.

“[Brown] does a really nice job in two different ways. She does a really nice job on the ball. She picked our point guard once,” Boston College head coach Erik Johnson said. “Off the ball, it’s kind of like the Deion Sanders rule, right? Don’t throw the ball in her area because she’s going to come get it.”

McCallie mixed up the starting lineup with graduate student Bego Faz Davalos—who did not enter the game against North Carolina—and sophomore Leaonna Odom appearing in place of Greenwell and freshman Jade Williams. In the opening five minutes, a 3-pointer by Brown and a bucket from redshirt sophomore Haley Gorecki gave the Blue Devils an early advantage. 

“Obviously, coming off a game that wasn’t very impressive and looking at rebounding and defense, practically in the full court, just a good hard look there [at the starting lineup],” McCallie said. “I feel like we have many players that can start. I don’t think there’s only five, I think there’s six or seven.”

But the Eagles used a 9-0 run on the backs of efficient low-post scoring to take a six-point lead. Then, the media timeout came around and everything changed. A 16-0 run and a high level of energy that was lacking late in the North Carolina defeat put Duke (16-5, 5-3 in the ACC) ahead for good. Brown’s 14 first-quarter points tied the school record for most individual points in a quarter.

“It’s important to start the game off super aggressive, kind of get the defense on their heels and then as the game settles,” Brown said. “You kind of slow down and then find your spots and find your teammates.”

The barrage continued in the second quarter, as Duke extended its lead to 15 points midway through the period with stingy defense and a knack for picking the pockets of the Eagles. By halftime, Boston College (6-14, 1-7) had 13 turnovers, and it finished the game with 23. On the other hand, the turnover problem that plagued Duke against the Tar Heels improved, as the team finished with only 13 in the game, half as many as Sunday afternoon.

With 2:17 remaining in Duke’s overpowering first half, the Blue Devil faithful saw the debut of redshirt junior Sofia Roma, a transfer from Wagner. In her first possession on the defensive end, Roma grabbed a rebound, and on the other end, she knocked down a jumper as the crowd erupted. A steal shortly afterwards added to Roma’s successful debut in the home whites.

Odom began the second half with a layup, which marked her first two points of the game, and she continued to lead Duke after the break. The sophomore finished with 12 points on the night to accompany eight rebounds and four assists. 

“She’s coming along. She’s got some really excellent players around, whether it be Lexie or Becca or Haley—people to play with and to understand the intensity and the immediacy of the game,” McCallie said. “When she goes hard, it’s very, very effective. She’s got the highest shooting percentage of anybody on our team. She’s a very, very efficient player, so we’ve just got to keep developing her and getting her excited about the role she can have.”

The third quarter was more of the same, as the Blue Devils extended their lead to 25 by the time the final period rolled around. Odom registered six points in the quarter and finished just as she started it, with a layup from the paint.

Brown, who knocked down three long balls, is now the ACC's active leader for consecutive games with a made 3-pointer. After Lousiville’s Asia Durr did not make one Thursday and Boston College’s Milan Bolden-Morris also misfired on all four of her attempts, the honor resides with Brown.

The Blue Devils will look to continue their strong play on both ends Sunday afternoon as they travel to senior Erin Mathias’ hometown for a matchup against Pittsburgh at 2 p.m.

“It was great to have everyone contribute,” Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “Great to have our first group out there and be aggressive, and I like that we got to the free throw line. Liked that we minimized turnovers. That’s so important.”