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The Devil's in the details: Duke track and field breaks records, women's basketball's defense remains dominant

Duke women's basketball has kept its opponents to an average of 50.9 points per game this season.
Duke women's basketball has kept its opponents to an average of 50.9 points per game this season.

They say the devil is in the details. But in Durham, the Blue Devils are in the details—and numbers:  

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It was a showing for the record books for track and field in Blacksburg, Va., Friday and Saturday. The Blue Devils set four new program records at the Hokie Invitational. In Duke's utter domination of the women’s 300m run, in which it snagged the top five spots, three Blue Devils surpassed former Duke star India Lowe’s previous record in the event. Sophomore Megan McGinnis took home the women's 300m title with a time of 37.94 seconds. The longest-standing downed record was on the men’s side. Olympian Bob Wheeler’s time in the men's 1000m event stood for 53 years—that is, until sophomore Beck Wittstadt beat it by a quarter of a second to take fifth in the invitational. Senior Halle Bieber also had a successful trip, placing third in the women’s 300m dash and winning the women's 200m event with a time of 23.77 seconds. 

50.9

Women’s basketball’s defense has been stifling this season. The 16th-ranked squad is in the middle of a stellar 17-2 campaign with their only two losses to then-No. 3 UConn and rival North Carolina, which has jumped to No. 15 in the AP Poll. The Blue Devils’ 50.9 points allowed per game ranks them fourth in the country and first in the conference. With 10 contests remaining before the ACC tournament, including a chance for redemption when the Tar Heels come to Durham for the regular season finale, Duke’s defense will have to continue its dominant streak. 

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Men’s basketball may have faced recent struggles on the road, but Kyle Filipowski has been doing anything but. The freshman was awarded his sixth ACC Rookie of the Week honor Monday. He is averaging nearly 20.2 points per game in January and has led the offense to keep the Blue Devils in a position to win every game. Perhaps the 7-foot center’s best performance yet came Monday night in Cassell Coliseum. His 29 points against Virginia Tech accounted for nearly 40% of Duke’s total points. After fellow freshman Dariq Whitehead suffered a lower leg injury early in the second half against the Hokies, all eyes will be on Filipowski to keep his team afloat in Duke's upcoming games.

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Women’s tennis has played three matches this season and has yet to surrender a point. The fifth-ranked Blue Devils defeated Furman 7-0, Charleston Southern 4-0 and Charlotte 4-0. While the squad's early-season opponents are not quite the caliber of their upcoming ACC foes, the team's hot start is indicative of the optimism surrounding it. Senior Chloe Beck and former Tar Heel Cameron Morra, both top-10 singles players last season, have become a threatening doubles pairing. With six ACC programs currently ranked, including five in the top 10, the Blue Devils have a long season ahead of them. 


Rachael Kaplan | Assistant Blue Zone Editor

Rachael Kaplan is a Trinity sophomore and an assistant Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle’s 118th volume.

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