ATLANTA, Ga. – Even though the Duke women’s basketball team made a valiant comeback in the fourth quarter Thursday on the road at Georgia Tech, the Yellow Jackets were able to hold on late to knock off the Blue Devils, 70-64, at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta, Ga.
With the loss, Duke moved to 8-7 overall and 0-3 in the ACC. It marked the first time since the 1992-93 season the Blue Devils opened the ACC slate 0-3.
Redshirt junior Haley Gorecki had an all-around great game for the Blue Devils with 22 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four steals, while junior Leaonna Odom (11) and sophomore Jade Williams (10) each finished in double-digit scoring. The Blue Devils did outscore the Yellow Jackets, 23-15, in the second half during the comeback.
The Blue Devils scored the first six points of the contest and led 8-2, but Georgia Tech (12-4, 2-1 ACC) responded with a 7-0 run of its own to go ahead, 9-8, at the first media timeout. The Yellow Jackets were dominant on the boards over the first six and a half minutes grabbing eight offensive rebounds and held a 13-4 advantage on the boards.
Odom connected on her first bucket of the game as she drained a pull-up jumper out of the media timeout to snap the Georgia Tech run and put Duke back on top, 10-9. Georgia Tech would take its biggest lead of the quarter, 15-10, with 33 seconds remaining, but the Blue Devils were able to cut into it lead with a layup by Gorecki off an assist from senior Faith Suggs.
Gorecki opened the second quarter with a three-pointer to even the score, 15-15, but Georgia Tech went on an 8-2 run to go ahead, 23-17. Odom would score six straight Duke points and the Blue Devils trailed 23-21 with 6:02 remaining in the half.
After a layup by Jade Williams, off an assist from Mikayla Boykin, the Blue Devils trimmed the Georgia Tech lead to 26-23, but Gorecki picked up her third personal foul on the next possession. The Yellow Jackets then went on a 7-0 run to go ahead, 36-25, at the break.
At the half, Duke was outrebounded, 25-14, including a 10-1 advantage on the offensive boards. The Blue Devils struggled from downtown hitting only 1-of-10 and hit 37.5 percent from the field.
Williams and Odom each led Duke with eight points each, while Gorecki added seven. The group of Odom, Williams, Gorecki and Onome Akinbode-James (2) scored all of Duke’s 25 points in the first stanza.
Georgia Tech’s Jasmine Dixon totaled 15 points and 10 rebounds in the first half.
Gorecki, who hails from Palatine, Ill., sank a three-pointer to open the third quarter and cut the Yellow Jacket lead to 36-28, but Georgia Tech went on a 11-4 run and led by as many as 17 in the quarter. Boykin closed the third by launching a 40-foot three-pointer that went in as the buzzer sounded to cut the Yellow Jacket lead to 55-41.
Duke went on a 9-2 run to start the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 57-50, but Georgia Tech once again increased the lead to nine, 62-53, with 4:25 left.
Gorecki and freshman Miela Goodchild drained back-to-back three-pointers to trim the lead to 62-59 with 3:52 left. After a driving layup from Gorecki with 1:16 left, the Blue Devils trailed by one, 64-63, but Georgia Tech responded with a three-point play by Elizabeth Balogun.
The Yellow Jackets finished strong and the Blue Devils couldn’t finish off the comeback.
Duke was outrebounded, 45-33, and hit 40.9 percent from the field. Boykin finished with a career-high 11 assists and as a team the Blue Devils dished a season-high 20 assists.
Dixon led Georgia Tech with 22 points and 17 rebounds.
The Blue Devils lost to Georgia Tech for only the third time out of the last 42 meetings with the Yellow Jackets and now lead the overall series, 61-10.
Duke will be off this weekend before returning home to Cameron Indoor Stadium as the Blue Devils will host Miami on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m., live on ACC Network Extra.