ATLANTA – The 16th-ranked Duke women’s basketball team could not overcome a poor shooting start, falling 71-62 to Georgia Tech in the team’s final road game of the regular season Thursday evening. With the loss, the Blue Devils dropped to 19-9 overall and 10-5 in ACC action.
The Blue Devils started the contest with a 4-0 advantage before struggling from the field, hitting just one of their next 16 field goal attempts. The Yellow Jackets opened up a 25-13 lead in that time and continued to limit Duke on the defensive end.
Freshman Azurá Stevens poured in six consecutive points inside the final four minutes but the Blue Devils still trailed by a 33-19 margin heading into the locker room at the intermission. The 19 points at the break marked a season-low output for the Blue Devils in a first half this season.
As a team, Duke shot just 21 percent in the first 20 minutes to a 41 percent shooting effort by Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets’ Kaela Davis paced all scorers with 14 points at the half.
Stevens moved into double figures in the scoring column five minutes into the second period, helping the squad pull within eight at the 11:17 mark. Duke also displayed improved field goal shooting in the second half, with redshirt freshman Rebecca Greenwell chipping in nine points by the midway point. However, the Yellow Jackets continued their pace of play, tacking on four second half treys to remain in the lead.
The Blue Devils were able to cut it to an eight-point deficit at multiple points late in the contest and a three-pointer by Greenwell with 48 seconds remaining pulled the team within seven. Turnovers plagued the squad in the waning minutes, though, and Georgia Tech was able to secure the victory at the free throw line.
Stevens and Greenwell both finished with 16 points and senior Elizabeth Williams turned in her ninth double-double of the year with 10 points and 14 rebounds. Williams also registered five of Duke’s 11 blocks and helped the team outscore the Yellow Jackets in the paint, 42-24.
Davis had a game-high 24 points and was one of four Georgia Tech players to score in double figures.
The Blue Devils will close out the regular season by hosting North Carolina Sunday, March 1 at 3 p.m. from Cameron Indoor Stadium. The contest will be broadcast on ESPN2.