Azurá Stevens matched a career-high with 24 points and was one of four Blue Devils to register double-figure scoring as 15th-ranked Duke dispatched Wake Forest 70-53 Thursday at the Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum.WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Freshman
Stevens’ 24 points came on 11-of-21 shooting from the floor, while senior Elizabeth Williams added 13 points and senior Ka’lia Johnson and redshirt freshman Rebecca Greenwell supplied 11 each.
The Blue Devils improved to 17-6 on the season and 8-2 in ACC action with the victory.
Duke forced Wake Forest into three turnovers within the first three minutes of action, and saw Stevens connect on a pair of three-pointers for an early 15-7 advantage. The Demon Deacons struggled from the field for a stretch midway through the period, allowing the Blue Devils to go up by double digits.
Stevens notched double-figure first-half scoring for the third consecutive game to guide Duke to a 37-24 lead at the intermission. Her 16 points at the break were the most by a Blue Devil in the first half for the season, and matched Williams’ 16-point output in the second half at North Carolina Jan. 25 for the most in a half all year.
Sophomore Kendall Cooper provided an offensive spark for Duke early in the second half, logging a quick five points. Despite getting contributions from a number of players, the Blue Devils struggled to contain Wake Forest on the boards for a stretch and went on an 0-for-7 field goal shooting streak. The Demon Deacons narrowed the margin to 10 on strong play from forward Dearica Hamby.
Wake Forest’s Mykia Jones hit back-to-back three-pointers midway through the half to once again pull the home team within 10, but Greenwell countered with a trey of her own and Stevens topped the 20-point mark to swing momentum back the other direction.
The Demon Deacons added two more three-pointers in the waning minutes but Duke’s lead held up for the 17-point win.
The Blue Devils finished with a slight 34-32 advantage on the boards and shot 47 percent from the field for the contest to 42 percent shooting by Wake Forest. Duke also recorded 16 steals in the contest and held the Demon Deacons to a season-low scoring output.
Stevens’ six rebounds led all Blue Devil players while Hamby collected a double-double for Wake Forest with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Duke returns home to Cameron Indoor Stadium Sunday, Feb. 8 for a 2 p.m. contest against Clemson. The game will be streamed on Blue Devil Network Plus.