BLACKSBURG, Va. – The 15th-ranked Duke women’s basketball team notched its fourth-straight ACC victory Thursday evening on the road at Virginia Tech, 86-75, in Blacksburg, Va. With the victory, the Blue Devils improved to 15-4 overall and 4-2 in conference play and tallied the 72nd consecutive victory against a NCAA Division I team from the state of Virginia.
Fifth-year senior Lexie Brown became the second-quickest Blue Devil to reach 1,000 points in her Duke career in just 53 games as she collected with 23 points. Brown now owns 1,013 points as a Blue Devil and 1,841 points over her collegiate career.
After being held to just 13 points the last two contests, redshirt sophomore Haley Gorecki had a stellar night in Blacksburg with a career-high 28 points as she went 9-of-14 from the field, 7-of-10 from behind the arc and pulled down six boards to go along with three assists and one steal in 36 minutes. With her performance, the Palatine, Ill., native reached 20+ points for the third time this season and second time in ACC play.
The Blue Devils found each other in the paint in the opening quarter as nearly half of their points came from inside. Senior Erin Mathias opened the contest posted up in the paint and picked up the offensive board to lay it in for two after the first attempt was blocked. Virginia Tech’s Kendyl Brooks notched her first trey of the evening before fifth-year senior Rebecca Greenwell followed up with one of her own edging towards the five-minute mark. The Hokies committed six turnovers in the first frame for five Duke points while sophomore Leaonna Odom picked up two blocks in the first ten minutes and ended the contest with three, good for her 30th of the season. Virginia Tech knocked down a trey with 20 seconds remaining as Duke held a 21-19 lead.
The second frame saw Duke struggle holding possession of the ball with six turnovers for 12 Virginia Tech points. The Blue Devils picked up the intensity on the defensive end with eight blocks through the first half from freshman Jade Williams, Mathias and Odom. The Hokies went on a 15-2 run to extend their lead before the Blue Devils knocked on the door with an 8-0 run in the last minute and 12 seconds. Brown notched a buzzer-beater trey a few steps inside half court to head into halftime tied up at 37.
Heading into the half, Gorecki led the Blue Devils with 10.
Duke went 9-of-10 from the floor to start the second half and ended the third 12-of-16 and 4-of-6 from behind the arc for a season-high 31 points. Brown picked up her fourth steal of the night as she leads the ACC in steals per game with 3.8.
As a team, the Blue Devils shot 51.6 percent (32-of-62) from the floor, 50.0 percent from behind the arc (10-of-20) and added 40 points in the paint to Virginia Tech’s 26.
Duke notched nine blocks as Mathias tallied a career-high four followed by Odom and Williams with three and two, respectively.
Taylor Emery led the Hokies with 30 points and seven rebounds.
The Blue Devils will continue their road swing Sunday as they travel down Tobacco Road to Chapel Hill to take on rival North Carolina. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., on RSN.