Duke heads in to 2017 with a well-needed victory, defeating Kentucky 69-54. Duke started out shooting 1-7 before Erin Mathias grabbed a missed shot by Rebecca Greenwell and hit a layup to end the drought for the Lady Blue Devils to make the score 8-4. Greenwell hit a three on the ensuing play to cut the deficit to one at 8-7.
Duke went on a 6-0 run out of the media timeout on the power of three consecutive Oderah Chidom layups. Chidom would finish the half perfect from the field (5-5 field goals) for 11 points. Duke led after the first quarter 16-14.
Lexie Brown would start the second quarter with a jumper to make the score 18-14 before Kendall Cooper rattled a 15-foot shot from the right baseline home to extend the lead to six.
The game was a back and forth game of defensive battles throughout the game. Duke woul
At halftime, Duke women’s basketball program retired the jersey of their third player ever, Elizabeth Williams. While at Duke, Williams was a four-time AP All-American, 2015 National Defensive Player of the Year, four-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year, four-time first team All-ACC, and 2011-12 National Freshman of the Year.
Williams tried to describe her moment but said “it is hard to describe.” When the jersey went up, it was a moving moment for the reigning WNBA Most Improved Player. “I was really humbled by this whole thing and to finally see it was incredible.”
The game continued to be a defensive battle throughout the third quarter. Kentucky cut it down to a three point Duke lead at 45-42 on two Maci Morris free throws. The Lady Blue Devils would respond with a 22-5 run that would prove too much for The Lady Wildcats to handle. Duke would go on to win 69-54.
Lexie Brown finished with 24 points, but her eight free throws tonight makes her the school-leader for consecutive free throws made with 38. The old record was 37 held by Los Angeles Spark point guard Chelsea Gray during her stint at Duke. The Lady Blue Devils return to action January 2nd when they host Louisville in their first ACC conference game.
(Photo Credits: Mel Brown)