Sportswrap: Women's basketball outlasts North Carolina, women's lacrosse splits opening weekend

Delaney Thomas (left) and Kennedy Brown (right) celebrate Duke women's basketball's win against North Carolina.
Delaney Thomas (left) and Kennedy Brown (right) celebrate Duke women's basketball's win against 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 Feb. 5-11:

Men’s basketball

After losing a tough one to North Carolina last weekend, No. 9 Duke got back on track in its home stadium this week. The Blue Devils (18-5, 9-3 in the ACC) took care of both the Fighting Irish and the Eagles with relative ease. Duke had 10 steals in its 71-53 near wire-to-wire Wednesday night victory. Saturday afternoon’s contest proved a bit trickier as a fiery Boston College team wouldn’t go away in the first half, but double-digit performances from each of the Blue Devils’ starters and a 10-rebound double-double from freshman guard Jared McCain got the job done 80-65. Up next for Duke is a Monday night matchup with Wake Forest ahead of a weekend trip to Florida State. -Rachael Kaplan

Women’s basketball

It was an exciting week for the Blue Devils, who came out on top of two games. While the first one was a relatively unexciting matchup against Wake Forest Thursday, the big game of the week came Sunday, when Duke (16-7, 8-4) took on rival North Carolina in Durham. The Blue Devils played a close game through 20 minutes, before dropping behind in the third and then coming back to force overtime. Leading the way was Delaney Thomas, who led both teams in scoring with 18 points. This week Duke will take another talented opponent, hitting the road Thursday to visit Virginia Tech. -Martin Heintzelman

Men’s lacrosse

No. 2 Duke continued its hot start to the 2024 season this weekend, taking the short trip to High Point and dismantling the Panthers to the tune of 21-9. The Blue Devils (2-0) were led in scoring by graduate attackman Dyson Williams with five goals, followed closely by Josh Zawada with three goals and three assists and senior Brennan O’Neill with two and six, respectively. Senior FOGO Jake Naso stole the headlines, though, winning his 817th face-off to become the program’s all-time leader at the spot. Up next for Duke is a return to Koskinen Stadium Saturday afternoon for a date with St. Joseph’s. -Andrew Long

Women’s lacrosse

A 6-0 second half scoring run wasn’t enough to propel No. 24 Duke past No. 25 Navy Friday afternoon. The Blue Devils (1-1) eventually fell 10-9 to the Midshipmen despite a spectacular performance in net from graduate goalie Courtney Kaufman, who registered 15 saves. Graduate midfielder Olivia Carner put Duke within one with just under three minutes left to play and secured possession off the draw, but an unforced error on attack gave Navy the ball back and they held on to send Duke home with its first opening game loss since the team’s inaugural season in 1996. The Blue Devils bounced back Sunday afternoon against High Point with a 22-14 win led by senior attacker Katie DeSimone and senior midfielder Katie Keller with seven and five goals, respectively. DeSimone and junior attacker Carly Bernstein also had four assists. Duke had a steady lead throughout the game and freshman midfielder Bella Goodwin got on the scoresheet with two goals — the first of her Duke career. Duke opens a three-game home stretch Saturday afternoon against Johns Hopkins. -Audrey Davies 


In a weekend characterized by low lows and higher highs, No. 5 Duke opened its season with a quick four-game invitational in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The Blue Devils (3-1) dropped their opening contest to the reigning champions, No. 1 Oklahoma, who pushed across three runs in the third inning en route to a 3-0 victory. Duke would turn it around quickly, however, hanging 16 runs on Iowa State to secure a run-rule victory against the Cyclones with a final score of 16-3. Senior pitcher Jala Wright would then throw a near-perfect game against No. 18 Nebraska, conceding only a solo shot to counter the six-run showing from her offense. The team would round out the weekend against Long Beach State, with more dominant pitching performances earning it a 2-0 win. The Blue Devils return to Durham with a 3-1 record and will take the field Wednesday evening at home against North Dakota State. -Luke Rinaldi

Track and field

It was a weekend to remember. As they split up for the BU Valentine Invitational in Boston and the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson, S.C. over two days, the Blue Devils set six new program records and eight additional all-time marks. Virtually every event group took part in the record-breaking celebration, with junior Amina Maatoug and graduate student Austin Gabay showing out for the distance team as they clinched the No. 1 all time spots in the women’s mile and men’s 3000m run, respectively. On the throwers’ side, both the men’s and women’s school records were upended for the second week in a row, headed off by graduate student Christian Johnson, senior Moorea Mitchell and graduate student MaKayla Mason. Back on the track, graduate student Ezra Mellinger did what he does best, sprinting the men’s 200m in 21.21 seconds to better his own No. 1 all-time Duke mark. As the sun sets on two days of trial and success, the Blue Devils look to do it all again next weekend, heading back to Boston for the BU Terrier DMR challenge and up to Blacksburg, Va., for the Virginia Tech challenge. -Prithvi Kotapati

Men’s tennis

No. 15 Duke bounced back from a rough week with home wins against Yale and No. 11 Kentucky. The Blue Devils (7-2) first defeated the Bulldogs 6-1 Friday in a dominant performance across the board. Redshirt senior Garrett Johns was the clinching victory on court 1, defeating No. 73 Theo Dean 6-3, 6-2. Duke had a much tougher time with the eleventh-ranked Wildcats, but got off to a good start with a doubles win clinched by Connor Krug and Faris Khan. In singles play, both Connor and Jake Krug fell first, as Kentucky jumped out to a 2-1 lead. However, the Blue Devils’ top three players — Pedro Rodenas, Johns and Andrew Zhang — all came in clutch as Johns defeated Joshua Lapadat to finish off the Wildcats. Next up for Duke is a trip to New York for the National Team Indoor Championships, beginning Friday. -Ranjan Jindal 


Duke’s rough stretch of form continued Friday with a brutal 45-0 loss at No. 13 Virginia Tech. All but three Blue Devils were defeated by technical fall, including heavyweight star Connor Barket (285 pounds), who has been one of the few bright spots for the team during this increasingly miserable season. Captains Gaetano Console and Jarred Papcsy fared a bit better than their teammates against the Hokies, wrestling hard but ultimately losing by decision in each of their respective matches. Next up, the Blue Devils (4-11, 0-3) return to Cameron Indoor Stadium for their final home match of the season Sunday against No. 8 N.C. State. -Rodrigo Amare


The energy in Card Gymnasium was electric this weekend as Duke hosted its first home meet of the season. The women, who moved up four spots from their previous ranking prior to the meet, proved themselves worthy of the No. 5 title over the weekend, going undefeated Sunday. The men’s team was unable to replicate those results, falling to all three opposing schools Saturday. The Blue Devils’ losses against No. 3 Brandeis (Division-III) and Air Force were both decided by one bout, no doubt disappointing for a team that was just starting to gain momentum. While freshman Samir Travers (8-1) and senior Stephen Kim (7-2) kept the matchups competitive, the team has a long way to go if they want to beat the best of the best come late February. Up next is a trip to South Bend, Ind., for the ACC Championships. -Emily Wang


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