Sportswrap: Women's basketball throttles No. 23 Florida State, men's basketball survives Clemson scare

Oluchi Okananwa puts the ball up during Duke's home demolition of Florida State.
Oluchi Okananwa puts the ball up during Duke's home demolition of Florida State.

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. 22-28:

Men’s basketball

On the heels of an 80-76 loss to unranked Pittsburgh last week, then-No. 12 Duke rebounded with a pair of victories and has now won 10 of 11 dating back to Dec. 9. First up was an 83-69 win Tuesday night at Louisville in which the Blue Devils (15-4, 6-2 in the ACC) pulled away late, and second was Saturday’s thrilling 72-71 defeat of a relentless Clemson inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. Tyrese Proctor was the star of the week, scoring 24 points off the bench against the Cardinals before following it up with 18 points and the game-winning free throws with less than a second remaining Saturday. The turnaround is quick for Jon Scheyer and company, who now travel to Virginia Tech for a 7 p.m. Monday tipoff ahead of Saturday’s Tobacco Road showdown at No. 3 North Carolina. -Jonathan Levitan

Women’s basketball

As the gauntlet of ACC play wears on, Duke suffered another tumultuous week, picking up a ranked win at home before falling once again on the road to close out the week. Coming off a disheartening loss at N.C. State, the Blue Devils (13-7, 5-4 in ACC) responded in a major way, blowing out No. 23 Florida State at home in an 88-46 triumph that was likely the best performance for head coach Kara Lawson’s squad all year. But on the comedown from that contest, Duke suffered a tight loss down in Coral Gables, Fla., falling to Miami and former Blue Devil Shayeann Day-Wilson, who scored 17 points in the win. Next up, the Blue Devils will travel to take on Pittsburgh Thursday. -Caleb Dudley

Men’s tennis

No. 8 Duke continued its undefeated start with an ITA Kickoff Weekend victory. The Blue Devils (5-0) swept both No. 23 N.C. State Saturday in the first round and Middle Tennessee in the championship match. Against the Wolfpack, Duke earned the doubles point as graduate students Andrew Zhang and Michael Heller staved off a comeback attempt. In singles, Zhang, Pedro Rodenas and Jake Krug all won. The next day, the Blue Devils’ doubles prowess continued, as Zhang and Heller and top team Rodenas and Garrett Johns won. Rodenas and Krug emerged victorious in singles once more, and Connor Krug chipped in to clinch the victory. Duke punched its ticket to the National Team Indoor Championships in New York beginning Feb. 16. -Ranjan Jindal

Women’s tennis

Following head coach Jamie Ashworth’s 600th career win last weekend, No. 15 Duke hosted the ITA Kickoff Weekend at Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center starting Friday. Facing off against Princeton, the Blue Devils (5-1) easily won 4-0, highlighted by graduate transfer Brianna Shvets beating her former team. Freshman Shavit Kimchi continued her strong play with a straight sets win in the No. 1 slot, a promising performance from the Israeli freshman. The win set up a Saturday evening battle against No. 14 Auburn, with a trip to the National Team Indoors on the line. Strong tennis from both sides was most notable in junior Ellie Coleman’s near comeback from being down 6-2, 5-0, which eventually resulted in a straight-set loss. Coleman’s defeat gave Auburn a 4-2 win, handing Ashworth’s squad its first loss of the season. The Blue Devils look ahead to two big matches next weekend against No. 13 Ohio State and No. 12 UCLA. -Vishwa Veeraswamy

Track and field

The Blue Devils sent a small but mighty force of five women and nine men to compete at the BU Terrier Classic against NCAA champions and professionals alike. Running events from the 800m to the 5,000m in distance, almost half of the Duke team had personal best performances. Among top showings were senior Austin Gabay’s 3,000m race and sophomore Lauren Tolbert’s 800m race, placing them at 15th and 16th in their events, respectively. Out in Indianapolis, senior Brianna Smith competed in the women’s pentathlon at the USA Track and Field Indoor Combined Events Championship. Duke now looks ahead to the Virginia Tech Doc Hale Invitational starting Friday, where the return to Blacksburg, Va. promises improvements for many Blue Devils after a high-intensity past few weeks. -Ryan Kilgallen


No. 9 Duke traveled to Massachusetts this weekend and came home with varying results. The Blue Devils got off to a shaky start after falling to Harvard 11-16 on both the men’s and women’s side. Senior Chloe Beittel led the win count for the women’s team with a 2-1 record in epee. Duke fared much better the following day at the Eric Sollee Invitational, where the men and women came away with winning records for the second time this season. Key players in this performance were sophomore Monica Balakrishnan and co-captain Stephen Kim, who both collected 10 or more victories Saturday. Freshman Charlotte Koenig had her first win as a Blue Devil Friday against Harvard and went on to have 12 more Saturday — one of the highest on the team. The New York native’s breakout performance led the women to an undefeated 6-0 score, while the men finished 3-1. The team will next play at home Feb. 10 and 11 at Card Gymnasium. -Emily Wang

Swim and dive

Duke had a busy weekend in the pool as it hosted both North Carolina and Texas for back-to-back dual meets. While the Blue Devils couldn’t manage to secure victory in the final moments of either meet, they recorded several impressive races. Sophomore Kaelyn Gridley broke her own school record in the 200-yard breaststroke, clocking in a time of 2:07.91 as she raced against the Longhorns. That same afternoon, Martina Peroni broke her own pool record in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:54.01. The meet against the Tar Heels a day prior saw close race after close race. The 200-yard medley relay, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke, and 50-yard freestyle were among events determined by mere milliseconds. The Duke women managed to keep North Carolina’s swimmers on their toes until the very end, with the Blue Devils leading the meet by four points until placing second in the final 400-yard freestyle relay and falling to the Tar Heels 152.5-147.5 overall. Over in the diving well, Margo O’Meara took the weekend’s sole first-place finish for the Blue Devils by winning the 1-meter against Texas. Up next is a clash with Queens Friday. -Abby DiSalvo


Duke endured an absolutely brutal night Friday against Virginia inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. In the midst of the Blue Devils’ Centennial celebration, Friday’s match was meant to showcase Duke’s athletic prowess and potential. Instead, the Blue Devils (4-9) were absolutely pummeled in their ACC opener, being shut out at home by a score of 45-0 to Virginia. Not only did the team fail to win a single duel, but it also only managed to score a handful of takedowns throughout the evening. Head coach Glen Lanham lamented his team’s lack of toughness and fight during the defeat. The Blue Devils will take on Pittsburgh at Cameron Indoor Friday, where they will hope to put the Virginia match behind them. -Rodrigo Amare


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