DURHAM, N.C. – Led by sophomore Jade Williams’ first career double-double, the Duke women’s basketball team used a solid defensive effort Sunday as the Blue Devils took down Florida Gulf Coast, 57-41, in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Blue Devils improved to 8-4 as they closed non-conference action with their eighth straight win at home. Williams collected a career-high 17 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, while blocking two shots on the afternoon.
Both teams started slow as they combined to miss their first 13 shots of the contest, before FGCU hit the first bucket at the 4:46 mark of the first quarter to go ahead 4-1. Freshman Onome Akinbode-James responded with a layup at the 4:28 mark for the Blue Devils.
Florida Gulf Coast (9-4) would close the first quarter on a 9-3 run and led, 13-6, at the end of the first quarter. The six points by Duke was the fewest in school history in the first quarter. The Blue Devils hit only 2-of-14 field goals in the first 10 minutes.
Duke opened the second quarter on a 12-2 run to take its first lead of the contest and lead 16-15 at the 7:07 mark. The Blue Devils would outscore the Eagles, 25-13, in the period and went on to hold a 31-26 advantage at the half.
In the second quarter, Duke hit 9-of-13 field goals for a 69.2 percentage, which was the third-highest in the second period in school history. The Blue Devils featured seven different players score in the first half with redshirt freshman Mikayla Boykin and freshman Miela Goodchild leading the way with seven each.
Duke limited FGCU to 25.0 percent shooting in the third quarter and increased its lead to, 44-35, with 10 minutes remaining. Williams, a product of The Colony, Texas, scored nine third quarter points and had a season-high 13 points to go along with seven rebounds and two blocked shots through the third period.
The Blue Devils outscored FGCU, 13-6, in the final quarter to close out the win.
FGCU was held to a season-low, 41, points and 27.1 percent shooting. The Blue Devils outrebounded the Eagles, 44-34 and held a 29-13 advantage in bench points.
Goodchild registered 15 points and Boykin added 10 points and tied a career high with seven assists for Duke. Redshirt junior Haley Gorecki snapped an 11-game streak of scoring double-digits as she finished with six points and eight rebounds. Gorecki became just the seventh Duke player in school history to register 500 points, 200 rebounds and 100 assists in under 50 collegiate games.
Duke will open 2019 with the tipoff of ACC play at ninth-ranked NC State Thursday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m., in Raleigh, N.C. The contest will be aired live on the Regional Sports Network.