DURHAM, N.C. – The 16th-ranked Duke women’s basketball team overcame an 11-point first quarter deficit and defeated Virginia, 55-48, Sunday afternoon in Cameron Indoor Stadium. With the victory, the Blue Devils improved to 14-4 overall and 3-2 in conference play.
After being held scoreless in the first half for just the second time this season, fifth-year senior Lexie Brown turned it on in the second half to finish the contest with 14 points. Brown went just 3-of-13 from the floor, 2-of-7 from behind the arc but knocked down six big foul shots to put Duke over the Cavaliers.
Senior Erin Mathias was just the second Blue Devil to register double-digit scoring on the afternoon with 12 and led the team with two blocks while sophomore Leaonna Odom pulled down a team-high nine boards off the bench.
The Cavaliers opened the contest with a 10-2 lead in the first three minutes’ courtesy of two treys, before Brown picked up her fifth charge of the season. Duke remained scoreless for nearly five minutes as Virginia extended the lead to 13-2 before Greenwell notched her first three of the afternoon. The Cavaliers had difficulty holding possession of the ball with four turnovers to help Duke to a 7-0 Duke run off of Virginia’s mistakes. The Blue Devils trailed 18-11 through the first 10 minutes of action.
The Blue Devils continued their tough defense in the second quarter, forcing 10 turnovers in the first 13 minutes. A solid offensive stance with back-to-back offensive boards set up an open freshman Jayda Adams for three to cut the lead to two. Duke saw its first lead of the afternoon at the 4:13 mark of the second quarter as freshman Jade Williams connected in the paint from Mathias. Virginia notched its fifth three with under two minutes to play in the half as it went 5-of-9 from behind the arc in the first 20 minutes.
At the half, Duke took a one-point lead, 24-23, from a pair of Greenwell free-throws with 0.2 seconds remaining. Mathias led the Duke offense with six while Brown was left scoreless as she shot 0-of-7 from the floor.
Brown, who hails from Suwanee, Ga., headed to the charity stripe at the 7:47 mark of the third quarter looking for her first points of the afternoon and connected on one to cut the Cavalier lead to 26-25. A missed trey by Virginia led to a Greenwell jump-stop to tie it up at 32-32 with three minutes left in the third. Brown hit her first field-goal at the 1:44 mark with a corner three as Odom picked up her second assist. Seconds later, redshirt sophomore Haley Gorecki connected on her first trey to give Duke a four-point lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
Virginia notched two treys in the fourth before Brown took over to close the game as she had nine of Duke’s 15 points in the fourth.
Duke collected 20 attempts at the free-throw line to Virginia’s season-low zero chances. The Blue Devils held the Cavaliers (12-7, 5-1) to a season-low 48 points.
The Blue Devils will hit the road to travel to Blacksburg Thursday, Jan. 18. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., on ACC Network Extra.