Sportswrap: Men’s basketball falls at North Carolina, men’s lacrosse wins big in season opener

Jeremy Roach sits on the floor of the Dean E. Smith Center during Duke's loss to North Carolina.
Jeremy Roach sits on the floor of the Dean E. Smith Center during Duke's loss to North Carolina.

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. 29-Feb. 4:

Men’s basketball

No. 7 Duke split the week, starting off with a 77-67 victory Monday night at Virginia Tech before falling 93-84 in Saturday’s main event at No. 3 North Carolina. The Tar Heels led wire-to-wire in the Tobacco Road rivalry’s first top-10 matchup since 2019, using a combined 46 points and 23 rebounds by the frontcourt duo of Armando Bacot and Harrison Ingram to preserve a 10-point halftime lead. Jared McCain, Kyle Filipowski and Jeremy Roach each scored 20-plus points for the Blue Devils (16-5, 7-3 in the ACC), who return home to host Notre Dame at 9 p.m. Wednesday and Boston College at 2 p.m. Saturday. -Jonathan Levitan

Women’s basketball

The Blue Devils were successful in their road trip this week, bouncing back from a loss at Miami with a dominant 69-38 Thursday blowout of Pittsburgh. Duke (14-7, 6-4) flipped the script at Petersen Events Center from its loss in Coral Gables, Fla., forcing its opponents to just 2-of-11 from three, while going 7-for-18 themselves compared to the 10 threes it surrendered to the Hurricanes. Junior guard Reigan Richardson regained her stroke after a cold afternoon in Miami and the defense shined, as the Panthers scored just three points in the opening quarter. The Blue Devils return to Durham Thursday at 7 p.m. to host Wake Forest. -Franck Djidjeu

Men’s lacrosse

Let the good times roll for No. 2 Duke, who got its 2024 season off to a flying start Saturday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium with a 20-12 win against Bellarmine. The Blue Devils (1-0) started out hot with a slightly modified attacking lineup featuring graduate student Dyson Williams, senior Brennan O’Neill and graduate transfer Josh Zawada, the all-time points leader at Michigan. All three logged hat tricks but O’Neill and Zawada were particularly threatening, adding three and five assists, respectively, on top of their goal tallies. Freshmen Benn Johnston and Patrick Jameison also made impressive Blue Devil debuts in midfield and in net, with the former logging his first goal in a Duke jersey. Up next for the Blue Devils is a Saturday trip to High Point before a few more nonconference games to close out the month. -Andrew Long

Track and field

In an important season check-in, Duke shattered records and put up top times at Virginia Tech’s Doc Hale Invitational over the weekend. Following top distance-focused showings at the recent John Thomas Terrier Classic in Boston, many standout performances from Blacksburg, Va. were in sprint and field events. Graduate students Christian Johnson, Aimar Palma Simo and Zoe Waddell all broke previous program records in the weight throw, with Johnson and Palma Simo each tossing 21.34 meters — an improvement of 0.20m from the previous men’s record — and Waddell breaking the previous women’s record by 0.21m with her toss of 19.78m. Ezra Mellinger also broke his own personal record in the 60m, holding Duke’s second place all-time spot, and improving in the long jump to tie Max Forte for the third place all-time record at 7.66m. Next weekend, the Blue Devils will return to Boston for the BU Valentine Invitational. -Ryan Kilgallen

Women’s tennis

It was a mixed weekend for the 17th-ranked Blue Devils as they fell Friday to No. 12 Ohio State before rebounding against No. 13 UCLA Saturday. Duke (4-2) fell fast against the Buckeyes in a 4-0 beatdown as it dropped the doubles point for the third time this season. The Blue Devils turned it around Saturday, though, as they defeated the Bruins 4-0, just under a year after they were bounced by UCLA in the second round of the 2023 NCAA tournament. Duke was able to capture the doubles point after Iuliia Bryzgalova and Brianna Shvets broke the split with a 7-5 final-set win, and clinched the match with the victory from freshman Shavit Kimchi. The Blue Devils have a while off before they head south to face Miami and Florida State starting Feb. 23. -Anna Newberry

Men’s tennis

No. 8 Duke had a rough week, losing to Big Ten foes Illinois and Northwestern. The Blue Devils lost 5-2 against the Fighting Illini after losing the doubles point. Senior Garrett Johns and sophomore Pedro Rodenas, the top two singles players for the squad, both fell, leading to the defeat. Duke traveled to Evanston, Ill., to take on the Wildcats and had a tight battle but lost 4-3. Once again, the Blue Devils fell in doubles and both graduate Andrew Zhang and senior Andrew Dale lost as Duke went down 3-0. However, Johns, Jake Krug and freshman Alexander Visser won to tie the match at three. It all came down to a tiebreak in the third set, but Connor Krug was not able to finish it out and Northwestern emerged victorious. -Ranjan Jindal


The struggles continued for Duke this week, who fell at home against No. 19 Pittsburgh 36-9 Friday night. In front of a decent sized crowd of tenters inside Cameron Indoor Stadium, senior Logan Agin and sophomore Connor Barket won their matches. Agin pinned the Panthers’ Colton Comancho within the first minute of the match, and Barket ended the night off with a 7-1 victory against Geoff Magin. The Blue Devils (4-10) struggled against the meat of the Pittsburgh lineup between the two victory bouts, losing all matches but one by major decision or worse. The schedule does not get any friendlier for Duke, who takes a road trip to Blacksburg, Va., to face Virginia Tech Friday. -Luke Jovanovic

Swimming and diving

Duke swimmers and divers beat out Queens Friday in a decisive victory. The women defeated the Royals 171.5-63.5, while the men delivered their first win of the season with a 127-109 victory. The women’s 200-yard freestyle relay of Sarah Foley, KyAhn Truong, Ali Pfaff and Tatum Wall clocked an impressive 1:29.89 to break Duke’s pool record. In another highlight, senior David Chang edged out Queens’ Yannick Plasil in the 100-yard butterfly to secure victory by 0.03 seconds. Margo O’Meara placed first in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events with respective point totals of 334.50 and 338.25. Seamus Harding Jr. won the men’s 3-meter, and Will McCollum flipped to first in the 1-meter. Overall, the women finished 1-2 in six events and the men placed the same in three. The meet wrapped up the Blue Devils’ regular season as they now begin preparing for the ACC Championships. -Abby DiSalvo


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