CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – After leading by three at the half, the Duke women’s basketball team couldn’t hold on in the second dropping a 53-47 decision Sunday afternoon on the road at Virginia in the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va.
The loss for the Blue Devils snapped a 26-game winning streak against the Cavaliers and dropped the Blue Devils to 11-12 overall and 3-8 in the ACC.
Redshirt junior Haley Gorecki paced the Blue Devils with 13 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals.
The Blue Devils missed their first six shots and had three turnovers, while trailing 4-0 early. Junior Leaonna Odom drove in for Duke’s first field goal at the 5:39 mark and sophomore Jade Williams connected on a left-handed hook as the Blue Devils made two straight.
Duke took its first lead of the contest, 7-6, at the 1:31 mark by a free throw by Odom, but a three-pointer by Lisa Jablonowski gave Virginia a 9-7 lead at the end of the first. The seven points by the Blue Devils was the second-lowest in Duke history in the first quarter. Duke hit only 3-of-12 field goals and had five turnovers in the first quarter.
Gorecki opened the second quarter by grabbing her third steal and draining her first three-pointer of the day to put the Blue Devils ahead, 10-9. Virginia came back to take a 14-10 lead, but the Blue Devils would go on a run of their own, 7-1, and led 17-15. Duke hit six straight shots during a point in the second quarter on its way to leading, 26-23, at the half on a buzzer-beating three-pointer by senior Faith Suggs.
Duke outscored Virginia, 19-14, in the second quarter and hit 72.7 percent from the field, while hitting 3-of-5 field goals. Gorecki, who hails from Palatine, Ill., had six points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals in the first half, while Odom added a team-high nine points and one rebound.
The Blue Devils would extend their lead to five on numerous occasions, but couldn’t break it higher. Virginia battled back going on an 8-0 run over a span of 1:13 as Duke was held scoreless for over three minutes. With Virginia leading, 37-34, Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie was forced to call a timeout to end the Cavalier run. A late tip-in by Williams sent the Blue Devils to the fourth quarter trailing, 37-36.
After Virginia went ahead, 41-36, Gorecki hit a jumper and freshman Onome Akinbode-James drained two free throws to cut the Cavalier lead to 41-40.
Coming out of a timeout, Gorecki found Odom for a lob and the Blue Devils went ahead, 42-41. Virginia responded with two straight buckets to take a 45-42 lead with 3:29 remaining. The Cavaliers added four more free throws and led 49-42 with 58.1 left.
Gorecki drained her third three-pointer of the day to cut the lead to 45-50, but the Cavaliers connected on a total of 10-of-12 free throws in the fourth to seal the victory. Odom finished the game for the Blue Devils with 13 points and three rebounds.
Virginia (10-14, 4-7) was led by Jocelyn Willoughby with .20 points and 10 rebounds.
McCallie, in her 12th season with the Blue Devils, coached her 400th career game at Duke.
Duke will return home Thursday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m., to host Virginia Tech on Valentine’s Day in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The contest will be aired live on RSN-TV.