SOUTH BEND, IND. – The 10th-ranked Duke Blue Devils fell 63-50 to the fourth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish in front of 8,659 in attendance at Purcell Pavilion on Monday.
The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for Duke (19-7, 10-3), and denied an opportunity to take over first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
Double-double efforts from Elizabeth Williams (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Azurá Stevens (13 points, 10 rebounds) were not enough to top the Irish as the Blue Devils tied a season low for points scored.
Jewell Loyd (21 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) and Brianna Turner (11 points, 5 rebounds) led Notre Dame (24-2, 11-1) to its eighth straight win over Duke, and pushed the all-time series between the two teams to 10-1.
Perimeter shooting made the difference as Duke went scoreless, shooting 0-for-12 beyond the arc for the first time this season, while the Irish converted on 9-of-23 from that distance.
The Blue Devils led early, holding a 10-3 lead by the first media timeout.
However, the Fighting Irish slowly turned the tide as Duke hit a five-minute scoring drought.
Both of Loyd’s three’s in the game came back-to-back with 12:55 remaining and pulled Notre Dame within four.
Madison Cable (9 points, 6 rebounds) then went to work hitting two three’s to give the Irish a 20-19 lead.
Cable eventually hit 3-of-5 beyond the arc in the half as Notre Dame’s margin grew to 10 points, leading 34-24 at halftime.
It was a lead that would never be relinquished for the rest of the game.
The Blue Devils’ Rebeccca Greenwell fouled out for the first time this season and was held to four points on a 2-of-5 effort that include two missed three-point attempts – a blank slate that ended a 13-game three-point scoring streak for her.
While Duke put together a quick 6-0 run to start the second half to pull within four points, Greenwell was not a part of it, and would not score a point during the latter 20 minutes of the game.
Notre Dame put together a dominating 18-3 run to lead 52-33 with 11 minutes remaining.
The home side’s lead eventually ballooned to 19 points, and created a sizeable buffer that Duke couldn’t cut down, coming no closer than 13 points for the remainder of the game.
Due to weather conditions throughout the Midwest and Southeast, Duke stayed the night before traveling home to rest, recover and prepare for its next road game.
The Blue Devils will make a shorter trip down I-40 when they tip off against N.C. State on Sunday and complete the current four-game road portion of their schedule.