Duke women's basketball is looking to continue its six-game win streak as it takes on No. 6 N.C. State tomorrow. The Blue Zone has a player to watch from each team:
Duke: Vanessa de Jesus
All season long, Vanessa de Jesus has been the truest exemplification of the saying: “It's not about the cards you're dealt, but how you play the hand.” Though she has yet to get head coach Kara Lawson’s nod for a starting role, the junior guard has not stopped finding ways to make an impact on the hardwood.
In the Blue Devils’ most recent victory against the Cavaliers, de Jesus posted a game-high 15 points off the bench. She shot 3-of-5 from the field, racking in both of her three-point attempts. Most notably, she shot a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line.
De Jesus’ three-level scoring and veteran presence will be key to Duke’s offensive production. And her exemplary court vision and off-ball movement could be the subtle difference in the highly-anticipated intrastate heavyweight bout against a star-studded N.C. State team.
N.C. State: Madison Hayes
Time and time again, we learn that basketball is a game of momentum. And the player with the hot hand stands on the Wolfpack’s side: Madison Hayes. The Chattanooga, Tenn., native is fresh off a 20-point explosion against the Clemson Tigers. On her way to climbing, and eventually conquering, that 20-point summit, she knocked down four 3-pointers and logged six rebounds.
Coming off a reserve role last season, Hayes has found her way into head coach Wes Moore’s starting rotation this year, and she has delivered. The junior guard is averaging an impressive 9.1 points on 50.7% shooting from the field and 4.3 rebounds. A capable shooter and a sneaky rebounder, Hayes could be the player to snatch a win away from the Blue Devils.
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