DURHAM, N.C. – The second-seeded Duke Blue Devils rolled past No. 15 Hampton in a 94-31 drubbing during first-round play in the 2017 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
Four players finished in double digits for Duke led by guard Rebecca Greenwell’s 26 points and 10 rebounds, her fifth double-double of the year and 12th of her career.
Leaonna Odom’s career-high 23 points put her as the eighth Blue Devils freshman to top 20-plus points in NCAA Tournament play.
Oderah Chidom and Lexie Brown each chipped in 11 points with Chidom pulling down seven rebounds while Brown distributed nine assists.
“I’m just really proud of our team,” Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie said.
“We’ve been off for 14 days. Despite a couple of things that went on out there turnover wise, I thought we did some really good things. We moved the ball well, we got a lot of assists.”
In winning their 23rd straight Tournament game at home, Duke held Hampton to only two points in the second quarter, when the Pirates shot seven percent (1-14) from the field.
For the game the Blue Devils converted at a 62-percent pace while the Lady Pirates shot 18 percent from the field.
Jephany Brown led all Hampton scorers and was two off her season high with 18 points, going 7-of-20 from the floor, and 1-of-3 behind the arc to go with three rebounds.
The Blue Devils’ performance as a whole was compiled with individual efforts.
With her four three-pointers made on the night, Greenwell moved into second place on Duke’s single season three-pointers made list, only four away from the school record.
“It felt really good,” Greenwell said.
“My teammates did a great job finding the openings when they were pressing. Lexie did great with nine assists, but I thought we just all did a really good job taking advantage of the openings in the defense.”
A catalyst for more than 40 percent of Duke’s offense throughout ACC play, Brown assumed more of a facilitator role in distributing the ball.
With her finish, Brown became the fourth player in team history to record 200 made field goals and 100 assists in a single season.
“I think we just stayed patient,” she said.
“They threw a lot of wild defenses at us, trying to get us to turn the ball over, so we kind of just had to stay patient a little bit, like Becca said, find the openings and then we’re leaving the basket wide open so it’s easy to make those wide open layups.”
As much as was achieved by the Blue Devils in moving on to face the 10th-seeded Oregon Ducks on Monday in second-round play, Duke suffered a tremendous loss when guard Kyra Lambert went down with a left knee injury in the first half.
Lambert didn’t return to play, but sat on the bench wearing a knee brace and walking with the aid of crutches.
“Kyra is out for a long time,” McCallie said.
“There were just different things happening on the floor and I’ve never experienced an injury like this in the NCAA tournament. I’ve been to a lot of them and Kyra is a special kid. Just a big heart and she was really coming on. Her game was just taking off. But the team is so resilient. They are a resilient bunch and they have been all year. We’ll just sort of evolve. You’re not going to replace Kyra. No one is going to do what Kyra does. But I think we can evolve with other people in other situations. And that’s our journey – so we’re on it.”
Even with Lambert expected to undergo an MRI for final confirmation of her injury and playing status, McCallie could only look forward for her team to continue its quest to reach the next round when the Blue Devils (28-5) and Ducks (21-13) tip off at 6:30 p.m. at Cameron on Monday.
“Oregon is a fantastic team, terrific young players, as you saw – great inside game, inside presence, great outside game,” she said.
“So they are very balanced that way. They play hard; they’ve got some great shooters.”
“I’ll probably just have to take a little bit more of the point guard responsibilities,” Brown added.
“I mean, we’re most successful when I’m running the point and Becca is on the wing. We want to stick to what we’ve been doing all season long. This just gives us a little extra motivation, you know, playing for a teammate that’s down.”