DURHAM, N.C. – In her first action in almost a year, Duke University women’s basketball redshirt freshman Mikayla Boykin sparked the Blue Devils to a 66-38 victory over UNLV Thursday evening in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Boykin, who tore her ACL on December 10, 2017, made her season debut Thursday and collected 11 points, six assists, a career-high five steals and four rebounds in 20 minutes.
With the victory, the Blue Devils won their third straight game to improve to 6-3 on the season. Duke also tallied its 18th consecutive win in Cameron in the month of December and the 17th victory in a row at home against an unranked team.
Redshirt junior Haley Gorecki connected on the first points of the game at the 8:01 mark with a running jumper and the Blue Devils would never trail in the first quarter. Freshman Miela Goodchild drained two first quarter three-pointers on two attempts to pace the Blue Devils to a 12-9 lead. Gorecki added four points as Duke limited the Lady Rebels to 3-of-15 field goals for 20.0 percent.
UNLV hung with the Blue Devils in the second quarter until Duke scored the final five points of the half to take a 25-17 lead into the break. Leaonna Odom scored six straight points over a span of less than two minutes to give the Blue Devils a boost.
In the first half, Boykin tallied two points, one rebound and one assist in eight minutes.
Duke’s defense held strong over the first 20 minutes limiting UNLV to 23.1 percent shooting and only six field goals. The Blue Devils hit 45.5 percent from the field but had 15 turnovers.
Boykin was awarded a starting spot in the third quarter and sparked the Blue Devils to a 7-0 start to go ahead 32-17. A native of Clinton, N.C., Boykin tallied two assists and a steal during the run. Midway through the period, the Blue Devils went on a 9-0 run to extend the lead to 41-21 with 3:46 remaining. Duke would end the third holding a 44-23 advantage.
The Blue Devils would outscore the Lady Rebels 41-21 in the second half on its way to cruising to their third consecutive win. Duke held UNLV to a season-low 38 points and 29.4 percent shooting.
Four different Blue Devils scored double-digits on the night as Goodchild tied a career high with 14 points, while Gorecki added 12 and Odom tallied 11. For the fifth straight game, Duke outrebounded its opponent, 42-25. Freshman Onome Akinbode-James pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
UNLV (1-6) was led by Nikki Wheatley with 10 points.
Duke will close a three-game homestand Sunday, Dec. 9 as the Blue Devils host 22nd-ranked South Carolina at 2 p.m., in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The game will be aired live on ACC Network Extra.