Rebecca Greenwell topped the 20-point mark for the fifth time on the season to guide the 16th-ranked Blue Devils to a 65-40 victory over Virginia Tech Thursday evening in ACC action at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke improved to 12-5 for the year and 3-1 in conference play with the win.DURHAM, N.C. – Redshirt freshman guard
Greenwell’s 21 points led all players for the contest while freshman Azurá Stevens pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds. In addition, Greenwell registered her third consecutive game with four made three-pointers.
Senior Elizabeth Williams and sophomore Oderah Chidom added nine points each in a balanced scoring effort.
“It was a good, focused game by our team in terms of execution and getting back in the rebounding situation,” said head coach Joanne P. McCallie. “Our defensive pressure picked up throughout the game … I thought we wore them down by the second half in terms of shot contesting.”
The Hokies took an early 9-7 lead on three treys and continued to attack from the perimeter, shooting 50 percent from deep in the first nine minutes. The Blue Devils countered with a 17-0 run and took advantage of Virginia Tech turnovers to flip the score to 30-16 in their favor with just over six minutes remaining in the half.
Duke notched 18 of its 37 points in the paint during the first period and shot 58 percent from the field to take a 13-point lead into the locker room at the intermission. Greenwell led all players with 10 points in the opening half while Stevens had five rebounds.
Greenwell opened the second period with eight points in the first four minutes of action, giving the Blue Devils their largest lead at 45-26. The defense kept the Hokies off the board for nearly six minutes, during which time Greenwell matched a career high with her fourth trey.
“I thought Becca was really, really aggressive,” McCallie said. “They had to try and deny her the ball, which is always good because that provides opportunities for her teammates and can mess the defensive rotation of the team if they’re going to try and face guard and take somebody out.”
Both teams struggled to convert from the floor over the next few minutes until Virginia Tech’s Hannah Young connected from deep to cut the margin to 16 with under 12 to play. Duke snapped its scoring drought with back-to-back three-pointers by senior Amber Henson and junior Mercedes Riggs, and in between forced the Hokies into a shot clock violation.
Stevens continued to crash the boards in the second period, reaching a career-high in the category with 13. The Blue Devils held Virginia Tech to just two points inside the final four minutes to close out the 25-point victory.
Vanessa Panousis paced the Hokies with 14 points, including four baskets from behind the arc. Virginia Tech shot just 25 percent from the floor to a 52 percent shooting performance by Duke. The Blue Devils also racked up 18 assists on the night and finished with a 41-29 advantage on the boards.
Duke returns to Cameron Sunday, Jan. 18 for a 1 p.m. contest against Miami, which will be broadcast on RSN.