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Courtesy: Robert Stoner
Erin Mathias
No. 14 Duke falls at No. 5 South Carolina, 72-52
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 12/03/2017
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COLUMBIA, S.C. – The 14th-ranked Duke women’s basketball team fell at fifth-ranked South Carolina, 72-52, Sunday afternoon in front of a loud crowd in Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C.

Senior Erin Mathias led the offensive effort for the Blue Devils with a career-high 14 points as she went 6-of-8 from the floor. Mathias posted a perfect 2-for-2 from the foul line and ripped down six boards and blocked two shots to add to her overall performance.

The South Carolina defense had its sights set on redshirt seniors Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell all afternoon and limited one of the best back-court duos to just 21 combined points.

Brown got things started early for the Blue Devils with a quick steal after tipoff and converted behind the arc with a hand in her face. Mathias tallied two nice jumpers from the elbow before South Carolina went on an 8-0 run from four Duke turnovers. Some solid defensive pressure by the Gamecocks late in the first but Duke was able to work the ball around for a nice look in the paint for Greenwell to cut the lead to five. Duke locked in defensively on the final possession to allow the Gamecock lead to stay at five (18-13) after the first ten minutes of play.

South Carolina opened the second quarter with a three after being silent from behind-the-arc in the first quarter. Brown picked up a three-point play after A’ja Wilson picked up a blocking foul in the paint. Sophomore Leaonna Odom registered her first block of the afternoon to create a fast break opportunity for Brown at the other end. A turnover by the Blue Devils allowed for a final Gamecock possession to extend their lead just as the buzzer expired.

At the half, South Carolina held the 38-27 lead and Brown led all scorers with 11 points.

After halftime, the Gamecocks committed three turnovers early to result in a couple of fast break opportunities for Duke but an 8-0 run by South Carolina held Duke scoreless for nearly five minutes.

The South Carolina defense nearly shutdown Greenwell as she went 3-of-8 from the field and 0-for-2 from behind the arc.

South Carolina was led by Alexis Jennings (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Wilson (18 points, 11 rebounds).

Duke hit just 37.9 percent (22-of-58) from the floor and 10.0 percent (1-of-10) from three-point land. South Carolina added 19 points off of 13 Duke turnovers and outrebounded the Blue Devils, 40-26.

Duke returns home Thursday, Dec. 7, to welcome UNCG to Cameron Indoor Stadium. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m., on ACC Network Extra.

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