BERKELEY, CALIF. – Senior Chelsea Gray scored 22 points to lead the 2nd-ranked Duke Blue Devils women’s basketball team to a 70-58 season-opening victory over the 9th-ranked California Golden Bears in front of a crowd of 5,023 at Haas Pavilion on Sunday.
Gray totaled 22 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals, while shooting 7-of-12 from the field.
Seniors Tricia Liston (15 points, 7 rebounds) and Richa Jackson (13 points, 4 rebounds) each made solid offensive contributions, while junior Elizabeth Williams pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds, scored five points and blocked a shot on the night to move her consecutive blocks streak to 70.
Having grown up in Manteca, Calif., Gray not only made a trip home with her team, but rejoined it on the court and playing in her first regular season game since dislocating her kneecap last season on Feb. 17, 2013.
“I was very excited to come home and have my family in the stands,” Gray said afterwards
“It was just really exciting and an excellent crowd – it really prepares us for down the road.”
The Blue Devils outrebounded the Bears, 46-39, while turning the ball over only 13 times throughout the game.
In beating Cal, Duke won its sixth straight true road opener and now stands with a 31-8 record all-time in season openers.
“Proud of the team for kind-of-a-great effort,”
“First game’s always interesting. I thought it was a great group effort by our team – some good defense and some good rebounding. That’s always a good place to start because the other things can fall into place.”
Duke returns home and will prepare to host USC Upstate in its home opener at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Thursday.