DURHAM, N.C. – The 14th-ranked Duke Blue Devils opened exhibition play with a dominating 113-36 win over the Pfeiffer Falcons at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Thursday.
Forward Azurá Stevens posted 29 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and two steals on 12-of-13 shooting, while guard Rebecca Greenwell connected on 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and finished with 22 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals.
“A good game for us,” Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie said.
“I thought a lot of people contributed. I really liked the idea of having 28 assists and getting to the free throw line a lot. Obviously it is a different level of competition but you still have to get numbers. You still have to be impressive. You still have to play as a team. I thought we did that.”
While the score was tied 7-7 halfway through the first quarter, a 13-4 Duke run set the pace for the rest of the game.
The Blue Devils led 46-21 at halftime.
“I think at that time, any time you’re keeping the score low for your opponent, you’re going to come around. I think we rushed on offense,” McCallie said.
“I don’t think we were taking our time and really attacking. That’s why I felt that it was a strange score to start. That’s just part of the game. I thought our team was getting used to playing and used to playing with each other. We took some quicker shots, we weren’t offensive rebounding. I thought we slowed down on offense and that was key for us to work the ball.”
Freshmen Kyra Lambert and Haley Gorecki also fueled the Duke offense with six points apiece during the first 20 minutes of play.
Forward Oderah Chidom contributed 14 points, and along with Greenwell, helped to build the Blue Devils lead to 82-30 heading into the final quarter.
“Just to exploit the mismatch,” Stevens said of the team’s strategy.
“It’s what we try to focus on in every game, because we have the height advantage, especially at my position most of the time. We just try to exploit that whenever we can. And we knew coming in that this would be a shorter team, so just sticking to our inside-out attack game was really key for us.”
The final 10 minutes of play highlighted Greenwell’s outside shooting as well as Gorecki’s scoring ability as she added 10 more points throughout the second half.
“We have a lot of good guards this year and they’re coming along” Chidom said.
“They’ve made so many transformations from when they first got here in July to now, and it’s kind of cool to see them display it on the court here today.”
The Blue Devils conclude their exhibition schedule when they host St. Leo on Sunday.