DURHAM, N.C. – Facing its second straight top 10 and undefeated ACC opponent, the Duke women’s basketball dropped a 73-51 decision to third-ranked Louisville Sunday afternoon in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Blue Devils fell to 8-6 overall and 0-2 in ACC play, while the Cardinals improved to 14-0, 2-0. It marked the first time in program history the Blue Devils opened ACC play against two undefeated and top 10 ranked opponents.
Louisville got off to a hot start hitting its first four shots, including three three-pointers from Arica Carter to take an 11-2 lead at the 7:31 mark of the first quarter. The Cardinals would go ahead by as many as 12, 18-6, with 1:52 remaining in the first, but Duke closed on a 5-0 run on a jumper by Odom and a three-pointer by redshirt junior Haley Gorecki to cut the lead to 18-11 after 10 minutes.
Duke hit only 3-of-15 field goals in the quarter, but held a 15-9 advantage on the boards. After Louisville hit its first four shots, the Cardinals hit only 2-of-14 field goals the rest of the quarter.
After Duke was able to cut the Cardinal lead to five on a couple of occasions, Louisville went on an 8-1 run, before redshirt freshman Mikayla Boykin connected on a three-point play to bring the Blue Devils back to within nine, 28-19. The Cardinals responded with a quick 5-0 run and were able to hold onto a 35-23 advantage at the half.
The Blue Devils hit only 26.9 percent from the field in the first half, including 1-of-9 from downtown and had 15 turnovers. Odom had a strong first stanza with 12 points, seven rebounds and two steals. She had scored only 12 points over the previous three contests combined.
With four straight points by sophomore Jade Williams, the Blue Devils cut the Cardinal lead to eight, 37-29, in the third quarter, but Louisville came back to increase the lead to 16 with 12 seconds remaining in the third. Gorecki was able to move quick down the floor and find Odom for a quick two and the Blue Devils trailed, 50-36, with 10 minutes remaining.
Duke had 20 turnovers and hit only 1-of-10 three-pointers through three quarters.
The Blue Devils opened the fourth quarter with four straight points by Gorecki to cut the lead to 50-40 and had another chance to cut into the lead but turned the ball over. Louisville came back to drain back-to-back three-pointers to extend the lead to 56-40.
Duke couldn’t get the game back in hand as Louisville went on a 10-0 run to put the game away.
The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak in Cameron for the Blue Devils and was only the third loss for Duke at home over the last three years.
The Blue Devils hit only 31.4 percent from the field for the game and 2-of-13 three-pointers. Duke held a 39-34 rebounding advantage, but had 24 turnovers.
It was the worst loss in Cameron Indoor Stadium since an 83-61 setback to Connecticut on Dec. 17, 2013.
Next up for the Blue Devils will be a road contest at Georgia Tech on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m., in Atlanta, Ga. The game will be aired live on ACC Network Extra.