BANGOR, Maine – The Duke women’s basketball team defeated Maine, 66-63, Thursday evening in Bangor, Maine at the Cross Insurance Center. The Blue Devils improved to 1-1 on the season as head coach Joanne P. McCallie defeated her home state team to move to 4-0 against the Black Bears.
Four Blue Devils reeled in double-digits on the evening as redshirt junior Haley Gorecki spearheaded the offense with her second double-double of her career. The Palatine, Ill., native dropped 21 points on 4-of-9 three-point shooting, dished a career-high 10 assists and swiped career-high seven steals in 39 minutes.
Junior Leaonna Odom collected 16 points as she was limited in the first half to 12 minutes with early foul trouble, while rookie Miela Goodchild poured in a career-high 14 points in 30 minutes off the bench. Sophomore Jade Williams also provided a spark for the Blue Devils off the bench with 11 points and six rebounds in a career-high 34 minutes.
Freshman Onome Akinbode-James secured her second start of her collegiate campaign and put the Blue Devils on the board with a nice move in the post over a short Black Bears team. Odom took on more of a point guard role this evening in Maine as she set up the play and dished to Gorecki before running the lane for a quick two inside the paint. Williams provided a nice spark off the bench for Duke with six points in the first half while Goodchild took advantage of her first time on the court with a trey from Gorecki. Gorecki found range as well for her first of the night just as the clock expired to push Duke ahead 16-6 at the end of the first quarter.
The Blue Devils shot 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from the floor in the first frame and held the Black Bears to just 17.6 percent (3-of-17).
Gorecki started to find her rhythm in the second quarter, tallying eight points off 40.0 percent (2-of-5) three-point shooting. The Palatine, Ill., native got it done on the defensive side of the ball as well with three steals, ultimately forcing a Maine timeout. The Black Bears connected on just their second three of the contest with under a minute to play in the first half. McCallie called a timeout and set up a good look for Williams inside for a layup before Maine’s seventh offensive rebound of the night to end the first half.
Duke led 27-22 through the first two quarters as the Black Bears out rebounded the Blue Devils, 20-17, despite the size difference.
Gorecki picked up back-to-back steals for four quick Blue Devil points in the paint. Maine’s Blanca Millan connected on the team’s third trey from beyond the arc before Goodchild hit her second of the contest from Gorecki’s career-high seventh assist. Gorecki recorded a second career-high in the books with six steals and hit her third three for a game-high 17 points as Duke led, 49-41.
Both squads were shooting well in the third frame with Duke at 69.2 percent and 53.3 percent for Maine.
A back-and-forth timeout battle began in the final quarter as Goodchild knocked down her fourth three for a career-high 14 points. Williams picked up her sixth defensive rebound with 15 seconds left before making one at the charity stripe to put Duke ahead, 66-63. The Black Bears fired up their final three-point attempt and came short to secure the Blue Devils’ first victory of the season.
As a team, Duke hit 54.2 percent from the field and drained 8-of-19 from three-point range. The Blue Devils tallied only 15 turnovers after having 24 on Sunday against Northwestern.
The Blue Devils will return home to host Elon Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m., in the 2018-19 home opener in Cameron Indoor Stadium on ACC Network Extra.