DURHAM, N.C. – Junior guard Lexie Brown totaled 24 points and three other Blue Devils reached double figures as 15th-ranked Duke used a second-half run to down No. 17 Kentucky, 69-54, Thursday on a historic night in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Brown matched a season high with four three-pointers and senior Oderah Chidom finished with 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field. Senior Kendall Cooper and redshirt junior Rebecca Greenwell had 10 points each, with Greenwell also matching her season high with 10 rebounds.
The evening also saw the Blue Devils hang a jersey in the rafters of Cameron Indoor for just the third time in program history as Elizabeth Williams’ No. 1 jersey was retired.
“It’s really hard to describe,” Williams said of the honor. “It was kind of a combination of excitement, gratitude and humbleness. I was really humbled by this whole thing and to finally see it. It was really incredible.”
After the Wildcats opened up the contest with an 8-2 advantage, Chidom made her way to the basket on three straight trips down the floor to swing the score into Duke’s favor. The Blue Devils would lead, 16-14, at the end of the first period.
Turnovers plagued both teams for a stretch before Brown hit her second three to put the cushion back at four. A Kyra Lambert trey with 23 seconds remaining in the half made it 37-32 at the intermission.
Brown continued to connect from deep in the third quarter and capitalized at the charity stripe, hitting a school-record 38th straight free throw early in the fourth. Cooper tallied six of her 10 points in the final period as Duke stretched the margin to double digits.
The Blue Devils’ defensive effort fueled the fourth quarter run, as the squad forced Kentucky into 17 consecutive missed field goals down the stretch.
Duke rounded out the win with 48 percent shooting (24-of-50) from the floor while holding the Wildcats to 30 percent shooting (18-of-60). The Blue Devils also turned in an 83 percent shooting effort at the free throw line behind an 8-of-8 performance by Brown.
Taylor Murray spearheaded Kentucky’s night with 18 points while Evelyn Akhator had 15 of the team’s 36 rebounds.
At halftime of the contest, Williams became the third player in program history to have her jersey retired. A 2015 Duke graduate, Williams (No. 1) joined Alana Beard (No. 20) and Lindsey Harding (No. 10) in receiving the honor.
A four-time All-America selection at Duke, Williams was the first player in ACC history and only the eighth player in the NCAA to garner All-America distinction from the Associated Press in each of her four years. She was also the first player in the history of the ACC to total over 1,900 points, 1,000 rebounds and 400 blocks for her career.
Up next, the Blue Devils open ACC play Monday, Jan. 2 against eighth-ranked Louisville in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The 7 p.m. contest will be broadcast on ESPNU.