DURHAM, N.C. – On a day in which the Duke women’s basketball team would hold their annual “Pink” game, the Blue Devils would find themselves on the winning side of things following a dominant performance against the Pittsburgh Panthers. With the victory, Duke improved to 22-4 overall, 10-3 in the ACC, and remain perfect at home (15-0).
Lexie Brown tallied 18 points, four rebounds and four assists on the day, while Rebecca Greenwell tacked on 11 points and six rebounds. The duo helped lead the charge to Duke’s fifth straight conference win.
Jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead to start the game, the Blue Devil surge was fueled by senior Kendall Cooper on the other end of the court with two impressive blocks that kept the Panthers off the scoreboard.
Following a Pittsburgh timeout, the Blue Devils continued to widen the gap, pushing their lead to 17-8 by the end of the first quarter, capped by a Lexie Brown buzzer-beating jumper. The junior would finish the quarter with a team-high seven points.
The Panthers would find their stride offensively more so in the second frame, matching their scoring output from the first quarter with nearly three minutes to spare. However, Duke continued to rack up the points, as a combination of Erin Mathias rebounds and efficient ball movement enabled the Blue Devils to stretch their lead even further. Duke would head to the locker room up 29-19. At the half, Lexie Brown remained at the top of Duke’s scoring list, with 11 points.
The Suwanee, Ga. native continued her scoring with a three on the first shot of the second half. Pittsburgh would answer with four points of their own to cut the lead to single digits, but a wide open three from redshirt junior Rebecca Greenwell eliminated the Panther momentum. With that shot, the guard from Owensboro, Ky. began an eight-point run of her own, as a layup and three free throws would extend the Blue Devil lead to 15.
Pittsburgh attempted to cool the hot hands of the Duke offense at the 4:40 mark, but to no avail, as senior forward Oderah Chidom would respond with her first four points of the game. Faith Suggs would add to the offensive outpouring, draining a three from the corner that would give the Blue Devils a 47-25 lead at the 2:40 mark.
The Panthers ended the Blue Devil run by dropping in a layup following a timeout, but they would give it right back in the form of back-to-back fouls against Suggs and sophomore guard Kyra Lambert. Following four consecutive and successful free throws, the Blue Devils would surrender two Panther points before hearing the buzzer that would take them into the final quarter.
Heading into the final frame up 20, the Blue Devils were forced to finish off a testy Pittsburgh team who showed more physicality in the last minutes than they had the entire contest. The Panthers forced a handful of turnovers and capitalized on lackluster Blue Devil passing, but they were unable to contain the ever-athletic Lexie Brown as she finessed her way to additional points to cap off an impressive afternoon.
The Blue Devils will return to action on Thursday, Feb. 16 as they travel to Winston-Salem for a matchup against Wake Forest. Tip is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., with coverage on ACC Network Extra.