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Sportswrap: Duke men's basketball cruises past North Carolina, women's basketball grabs two wins

Freshman AJ Griffin erupted for 27 points against North Carolina this weekend.
Freshman AJ Griffin erupted for 27 points against North Carolina this weekend.

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. Here’s our recap for the week of Jan. 31-Feb. 6.

Men’s basketball

It was quite the week for No. 9 Duke, which has now won five straight games and sits atop the ACC standings after Saturday’s 87-67 drubbing of rival North Carolina in head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s highly-anticipated last trip to Chapel Hill. That win garnered much of the spotlight, but the Blue Devils (19-3, 9-2 in the ACC) also won a defensive battle Monday night, cooling a red-hot Notre Dame team in a 57-43 victory. Freshman forward AJ Griffin was a big reason for those road wins, averaging 20 points and exploding for a thrilling 27-point performance against the Tar Heels. In the midst of a tough scheduling stretch in which they hit the road five times in six games, the Blue Devils get to play on their home court Monday night, albeit against a staunch opponent in Virginia before traveling to face Clemson and Boston College Thursday and Saturday respectively. -Jonathan Levitan

Women’s basketball

The Blue Devils ended the week on a much stronger note than they started. After losing to No. 12 Georgia Tech Tuesday, two wins against Pittsburgh and Wake Forest ended Duke's three-game losing streak and kept the Blue Devils (15-7, 6-6) at .500 against the ACC going into the new week. The wins reflected two very different circumstances—first a comfortable 54-39 win at Pittsburgh and then a much closer, 81-76 game against Wake Forest. Graduate student Lexi Gordon and freshman guard Shayeann Day-Wilson continued to be offensive bright spots on the team despite Celeste Taylor’s absence. They both contributed more than 40% of Duke’s points in their three matchups this week. -Chinomnso Okechukwu

Men’s lacrosse

The weekend brought two games and two wins for No. 3 Duke. Head coach John Danowski’s squad began their season Friday against Robert Morris and Sunday against No. 17 Vermont, a pair of games that saw the Blue Devils (2-0) win 21-12 and 15-7, respectively. Sophomore attackman Brennan O’Neill notched nine goals over the weekend to lead the team followed closely by junior Dyson Williams with seven. 15 players hit the scoresheet in a daunting display of what’s to come for this talented Duke team. The Blue Devils next face Manhattan at home Friday. -Andrew Long

Track and field

With ACC Indoors now less than three weeks away, fine-tuning was on the agenda for the Blue Devils, as the program split up for the Camel City and Hokie Invitationals over the weekend. Over in Blacksburg, Va., Duke collected four event wins—Ezra Mellinger in the men’s long jump and 200m, Beau Allen in the men’s high jump and the quartet of Erin Marsh, Lauren Hoffman, Jenna Crean and Megan McGinnis in the women’s 4x400m. In nearby Winston-Salem for the Camel City meet, Nick Dahl set a school record in the men’s Mile Run Elite and Michaela Reinhart finished seventh in the women’s 3,000m run elite. On tap for the Blue Devils is a trip to Beantown this weekend for the Boston University Valentine Invitational. -Max Rego

Men’s tennis

Duke men’s tennis suffered its second loss of the season Sunday against Northwestern. Just like in its match against South Carolina, Duke won half of the singles matches but lost two of the three doubles matches to surrender the doubles point and come up one win short of the overall victory. The team clearly has some work to do in doubles, as just one more doubles match going its way against both South Carolina and Northwestern would leave the Blue Devils with an undefeated 5-0 record. Instead, Duke is now 3-2 on the year and will look to bounce back on Friday versus Virginia Commonwealth at home. -Robert Miron

Women’s tennis

After dropping the final match of last weekend's ITA Kickoff, the 12th-ranked Blue Devils got back in the win column with a dominant showing against Furman Saturday. The doubles matches quickly fell in Duke's favor before also dominating the singles portion of the afternoon. Junior Chloe Beck and seniors Georgia Drummy and Margaryta Bilokin each took commanding victories at the hands of the Paladins to secure the three necessary singles points to lead Duke to the 6-1 match win. The Blue Devils now get two weeks off before returning to play in ACC competition Feb. 25 at Louisville. -Micah Hurewitz

Wrestling

In their third match against ranked ACC competition, the Blue Devils took another loss, falling 42-3 to No. 10 Virginia Tech. Almost every wrestler on the Duke roster faced a defeat at the hands of a ranked opponent—including three losses from top-10 athletes in their weight bracket. However, one wrestler stayed strong and finished with the Blue Devils’ sole win—junior Wade Unger, who secured a 4-3 decision on Connor Brady. Duke will take a break from ACC competition Wednesday as it travels to face Gardner-Webb, before finishing its conference slate next week. -Ana Young

Swimming and diving

The Blue Devils wrapped up the three-day Hokie Invitational against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., in their final meet before the ACC Championships. This meet was unscored, allowing for the swimmers’ and divers’ individual performances to speak for themselves. And that they did—the weekend featured 19 personal-best swims by 13 different swimmers, including three from freshman Michael Volpe, and five performances landing in the top 10 times in program history. Without the pressure of team scores, but with the success of some great swims, Duke swim and dive could be ready for a special ACCs next weekend. -Babu Chatterjee

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