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Duke women's basketball releases nonconference schedule

Head coach Joanne P. McCallie will look to bounce back after last year's Blue Devils suffered through the program's worst season since 1993
Head coach Joanne P. McCallie will look to bounce back after last year's Blue Devils suffered through the program's worst season since 1993

Duke has never had a losing record in regular season nonconference play. Next year, that streak will be put to the test against a flurry of familiar faces.

The Blue Devils released their 2019-20 nonconference schedule Wednesday afternoon, headlined by rematches against UNLV, Northwestern and Florida Gulf Coast, three meetings with 2019 NCAA tournament programs and the team's first Ivy League opponent since 2016.

Following the annual inter-squad Blue/White scrimmage, Duke will face off against Alaska Anchorage in its lone exhibition contest for the third season in a row. Head coach Joanne P. McCallie's squad has defeated the Seawolves by a combined 162-110 over the past two years, including a 75-54 blowout last November. The Blue Devils then open up their regular season against High Point in just the second all-time matchup between the two programs. Duke took the inaugural meeting with a 77-50 victory in 2017.

Less than a week later, Blue Devils Uchenna Nwoke, Kyra Lambert and Jade Williams will all return to their home  state of Texas as Duke takes on Texas A&M in College Station. The Aggies have made 13 consecutive NCAA Tournaments under head coach Gary Blair, including a Sweet Sixteen appearance last year and the 2011 NCAA championship.

Over the next week, Duke then matches up against two nonconference foes from last season. The Blue Devils first head to the desert looking for its second straight victory over UNLV after the return of Mikayla Boykin sparked the Blue Devils to a dominating 66-38 win over the Lady Rebels last December.

Just three days after that, McCallie will look to avenge last year's season-opening loss to her alma mater Northwestern, taking on the Wildcats at home. Duke lost the first-ever meeting between the two schools 84-58 last November in Evanston, Il.

Later that month, the Blue Devils will take on Penn for its first Ivy League competition since Duke defeated the Quakers 68-55 in 2016. The two teams also met the year prior, with the Blue Devils taking that one via a 57-50 win.

On December 19, Duke heads to Columbia, S.C., to face off against South Carolina. The Gamecocks have made the Sweet Sixteen for six consecutive seasons under head coach Dawn Staley, including an NCAA Championship in 2017. This would have made six consecutive and eight all-time meetings between the two programs had least year's matchup at Cameron Indoor Stadium not been cancelled due to a rare Durham snowstorm. South Carolina currently leads the series 4-2.

The Blue Devils' nonconference slate will close with one more 2018-19 rematch, this time against Florida Gulf Coast. Duke rolled to a 57-41 win last year in yet another inaugural meeting between two programs, one of only five losses for the Eagles on the year. Florida Gulf Coast ended up losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. 

Idaho State, Troy, Davidson and Nebraska round out the Blue Devils' nonconference slate.

Duke will look to bounce back this season after not making the NCAA tournament for just the second time in 25 years. Last year's squad went 8-4 over 12 nonconference games before finishing 6-10 in ACC play.

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