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Duke women's basketball breezes past Davidson thanks to Haley Gorecki's dominant quarter

<p>Haley Gorecki put up 14 points in an electric second quarter effort.</p>

Haley Gorecki put up 14 points in an electric second quarter effort.

In their last game before Thanksgiving, the Blue Devils can be thankful that Haley Gorecki was there to pour in 14 points in one quarter when the Blue Devils needed it Wednesday night. 

After a deadlocked first quarter that the Blue Devils ended actually trailing by five, Gorecki took over and gave Duke a sizable lead. 

The Blue Devils didn’t look back, dredging Davidson 82-52 in Cameron Indoor Stadium Wednesday night. 

“She had a great second quarter, put them on her back,” Davidson head coach Gayle Fulks said. “The game got a little away from us.”

The rest of the game slipped through Davidson's fingers like sand—quick and constant. After outscoring the Wildcats (4-3) 26-7 in the second quarter, the Blue Devils (5-2) routed them 22-13 in the third and 20-13 in the fourth. 

“[It was] a terrific team effort pretty much second quarter on,” Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “Little bit of a slow start—but that’s okay, that happens sometimes.”

It was the graduate players who provided the energy Duke needed to get rolling—in addition to Gorecki, McCallie noted the defensive spark Kyra Lambert brought.

“She’s doing a terrific job in all facets,” McCallie said about Lambert. “Good energy, good leadership.”

After setting a career-high with 30 points against Idaho State last week, Gorecki racked up 25 points in just 26 minutes Wednesday night. It was her third-straight game scoring more than 20 points.

Four other Blue Devils joined her in double-digits. Junior forward Jade Williams sank a pair of 3-pointers for a total of 12 points, and sophomore Onome Akinbode-James scored in double-digits for the fifth time in her career. 

Both teams got off to a scrappy start, knocking down less than 40 percent of their first quarter field goal attempts and swapping the lead several times through the first 10 minutes. 

But what looked like a even-keeled spat became a beat down in the second quarter as the Blue Devils started to heat up. Duke cut its turnovers down from six in the first quarter to two in the second, hit 60 percent of its field goal attempts and knocked down four of its five 3-pointers.

The Blue Devils built on that lead for the rest of the game, turning to the paint for points. They scored a total of 46 points there—30 of those in the second half. The team also democratized the scoring as the game wore on, with the benching adding 20 points in the second half after only six in the first. 

“If we execute, if we move the ball, very good things happen,” McCallie said. 

The last time the Blue Devils and Wildcats squared-off was in 2004, with Duke winning. The Blue Devils came into Wednesday’s game off two high-scoring wins, averaging 92 points across their recent beat downs of Idaho State and Troy. 

Duke has a quick turnaround for its next game, as Penn will be coming to Durham Friday to face the Blue Devils in Cameron.

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