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Sportswrap: Men's basketball back on track, women's swimming and diving places 6th in ACC

Freshman forward Jaemyn Brakefield notched 11 points in a career-high 29 minutes in Duke men's basketball's win against Virginia Saturday.
Freshman forward Jaemyn Brakefield notched 11 points in a career-high 29 minutes in Duke men's basketball's win against Virginia Saturday.

Sportswrap is your one-stop shop for everything Duke athletics, where we’ll recap how each of Duke’s sports currently in competition performed over the last week and give a brief look ahead.

Men’s basketball 

Just when it looked like Duke had no chance at an NCAA tournament bid, the Blue Devils flipped a complete 180 and are now on a four-game win streak. Saturday’s monumental win against then-No. 7 Virginia marked Duke’s first ranked victory of the season, with the Blue Devils following that performance up by blowing out Syracuse Monday night. Thanks to this recent stretch, Duke (11-8, 9-6 in the ACC) has jumped up to “First Four Out” on ESPN’s Joe Lunardi’s mock bracket, a significant leap from where this team was at a couple weeks ago. Next up is a rematch with Louisville in Cameron Indoor Stadium Saturday. -Jake Piazza

Men’s lacrosse 

No. 1 Duke is starting to look like the superteam many expected coming into the season, dominating Towson 19-7 this past Saturday. Freshman faceoff specialist Jake Naso continued his impressive start, winning 21-of-25 faceoffs against the Tigers, while transfer Mike Adler is beginning to find his groove in goal. On the offensive end, freshman attackman Brennan O’Neill led the Blue Devils with four goals and transfer Michael Sowers tallied six points (two goals, four assists) to move into the top 10 in the NCAA’s career points leaderboard. Duke (4-0) will look to continue its strong start against Air Force Saturday. -Evan Kolin

Women’s lacrosse

No. 8 Duke dominated William & Mary 24-8 last Wednesday, and despite a shaky start and a goalie change, continued its hot start with a gutsy 12-8 win against No. 15 Virginia Tech Sunday. But this week, the Blue Devils (3-0, 1-0) face perhaps their toughest test of the season, as they travel down Tobacco Road to take on top-ranked North Carolina Friday. -Jonathan Browning


After winning two out of three in its opening series over the weekend against Coastal Carolina, No. 11 Duke dropped its Tuesday matchup to East Carolina. The Blue Devils flexed their overall depth and offensive pop against the Chanticleers, totaling 29 runs in the first three games of the season, but managed only one run in a 6-1 defeat to the 24th-ranked Pirates. The pitching rotation is still very much up in the air, but Duke (2-2) will have a chance to iron it out when it hosts Boston College this weekend for its first home games of the season. -Piazza


No. 23 Duke kicked off the ACC Pod Weekend by kicking Pitt in the butt, outscoring the Panthers 18-3 in their two games. The Blue Devils followed that up by winning their three-game series against Notre Dame, dropping the first meeting but sweeping the Sunday doubleheader. Starting pitcher Shelby Waters (10 IP, zero runs, four baserunners against) and shortstop Deja Davis (5-for-7, two triples Sunday) were the stars of the weekend. Duke (8-1) heads down to Columbia, S.C. this weekend for the Gamecock Invitational, which includes a Sunday matchup with No. 21 South Carolina. -Em Adler

Women’s golf 

With many questions surrounding the strength of the young roster, Duke—still technically the defending national champions—impressed in its opening tournament. Led by sophomore Erica Shepherd, the 22nd-ranked Blue Devils finished third out of 11 teams with a 903 team total Sunday through Monday. Shepherd put up a career-best third-place finish at the Turtle Point Golf Course, hitting three-over-par (219), just three strokes behind first place. The Blue Devils will look to continue their fresh momentum at the Gamecock Intercollegiate March 1-3. -Eric Gim 

Men’s golf 

Following a couple solid tournaments to start the season, Duke had a tough outing at the Seminole Intercollegiate this past weekend, finishing 12th in a competitive field of 15 teams. One bright spot, however, was a pair of top-25 finishes from freshmen Jimmy Zheng and Ian Siebers. The Blue Devils will hope to bounce back in their next tournament, the Wake Forest Invitational, March 1-2. -Matthew Hawkins

Women’s Tennis 

No. 11 Duke dominated VCU 7-0 last Wednesday, with senior Kelly Chen becoming the 26th player in program history to reach 100 career singles wins. The team then opened ACC play against Virginia Tech Sunday with another 7-0 sweep. The Blue Devils (6-1, 1-0) continue their conference slate this weekend, matching up against Louisville Saturday and Notre Dame Sunday. -Campbell Lawson


Duke swept Appalachian State last Wednesday to continue its spring campaign. Junior Ade Owokinaron and sophomore Gracie Johnson led the Blue Devils offensively with double-digit kills while junior libero Mackenzie Cole dominated with 16 digs. The Blue Devils (8-2, 6-2) will travel to N.C. State this Friday for their first ACC match of the spring. -Olivia Wivestad

Men’s soccer 

In their second straight overtime matchup, the Blue Devil suffered a heart-breaking 1-0 loss to Kentucky last Friday, with goalkeeper Eliot Hamill giving up his first goal of the season. Duke held possession for the majority of the game but struggled to capitalize, as both teams ended with nine total shots and two on goal. Duke (2-7-1, 2-4-0) will host UNC-Wilmington this Friday night. -Cameron DeChurch

Swimming and diving 

The women’s swimming and diving team competed in the ACC Championships in Greensboro, N.C., this past Wednesday through Saturday, placing sixth with 647 points. The swimmers were led by freshmen Sarah Foley and Catherine Purnell, who each finished eighth in the 200-yard breaststroke and 400-yard IM, respectively. The highlight for No. 24 Duke, however, was the performance of sophomore diver Ali Watson, who placed second in the platform event en route to All-ACC recognition. The men’s team will be competing in the ACC Championships this Wednesday through Saturday before both teams prepare for some final tune-up meets and the NCAA Championships in March. -Rosie Li

Indoor track and field 

In a busy weekend for Duke track and field, the Blue Devils made their presence felt at not one but two events. For the second time in three events, freshman Moorea Mitchell set a new personal record in the women’s weight throw, finishing fourth at the Virginia Tech Challenge in Blacksburg, Va., with a distance of 16.50 meters. On the men’s side of the weight throw, redshirt senior Ben Beatty continued his stellar indoor season, finishing sixth after hitting 17 meters on the nose. 

Two hours south, senior Leigha Torino took part in the Camel City Invitational in Winston-Salem, NC., as Duke’s sole participant. Torino continued her consistency in the women’s 800-meter, taking home first place with a time of 2:09.19. Now, the Blue Devils set their sights on the ACC Indoor Championships, which start Thursday and run through Saturday. -Max Rego

Men’s tennis did not compete this week. The Blue Devils will begin ACC play this Friday at Georgia Tech.


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