DURHAM, N.C.— The Duke women’s basketball team opened its tour of Italy with its first of three contests Wednesday evening at Pala Fonte Roma in Rome, Italy. The Blue Devils used a stellar first half to take down the Netherlands National Team, 84-66.
Behind 49 points and 54.5 percent shooting in the first half, Duke built a 49-31 lead at the end of 20 minutes. Redshirt senior Lexie Brown collected 13 first half points, while Leaonna Odom and Mikayla Boykin each came off the bench to provide nine and eight points, respectively.
Netherlands came out in the third period and outscored Duke, 22-18, to cut the Blue Devil lead to 67-53. With a three-pointer and a jumper to start the fourth quarter, Netherlands trimmed the Duke lead to 67-61 with eight minutes remaining. The Blue Devils then went on a 9-2 run to take back control of the game and Netherlands would not get closer than 10 the rest of the contest.
For the game, Brown led the way for Duke with a team-high 16 points to go along with six rebounds, five assists and one steal. Fellow redshirt senior Rebecca Greenwell added 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Duke finished the contest hitting 46.9 percent from the field, while holding Netherlands to 37.9 percent.
Other double-digit scorers for the Blue Devils were Boykin (12) and Odom (12). After missing nearly a year and a half with a hip injury, redshirt sophomore Haley Gorecki started the game and finished with seven points, five rebounds and three assists. Senior Erin Mathias collected eight points, six rebounds and two blocked shots as well. As a team, Duke hit 7-of-14 three-pointers as Brown hit three, Greenwell two and Boykin two.
Netherlands was led by Karin Kuijt with a game-high 23 points.
The Blue Devils will next go up against the Italian All-Stars Saturday, Aug. 19 in Florence, Italy.