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DURHAM – Duke women’s basketball used a balanced scoring attack and solid defense to pick up a 71-52 win over Texas A&M Thursday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Blue Devils (4-0) finished the game with four in double figures, led by senior Elizabeth Balogun with 15 points off the bench – seven of which came in the third quarter to help Duke blow the game open. She also grabbed two rebounds and had a pair of steals.
Classmate Celeste Taylor notched her seventh career double-double as she finished with 14 points and a team-high 10 boards. Junior Kennedy Brown posted 11 points and four rebounds while sophomore Reigan Richardson added 10 points and four rebounds.
Sydney Bowles led the Aggies (2-1) with 15 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The first quarter started off as a back-and-forth affair that featured three ties and four lead changes across the first five minutes.
- Both squads traded buckets during that span until a 6-0 run gave the Blue Devils a 12-8 lead at the media timeout.
- Duke scored six of the next eight points to extend its run to 12-2 and increase the advantage to eight (18-10), capped off by Shayeann Day-Wilson‘s hesi and dropoff to classmate Lee Volker for the layup, which forced the Aggies to call a timeout with 1:26 to go in the opening frame.
- After 10 minutes of action the Blue Devils held a 20-14 lead.
- Duke was able to build up a 13-point ledger, 30-17, midway through the second as the Blue Devils held Texas A&M without a field goal for just over three minutes. Taylor scored seven of Duke’s nine points during the sequence.
- The Aggies pulled within eight (30-22) after a triple by Eriny Kindred and a pair of Janiah Barker free throws, but Duke closed the half on a 10-2 run to take a 40-24 lead into the break.
- Taylor led the way for the Blue Devils in the opening half with 11 points, three rebounds and two steals.
- Brown added seven points and three boards while Richardson chipped in six points off the bench.
- The Blue Devils’ lead surpassed 20 points in the third quarter as the defense took it up a notch, forcing six Texas A&M turnovers, including four over the final two and a half minutes, while also Duke also holding the Aggies without a field goal for three minutes earlier in the frame.
- On the offensive end, the Blue Devils’ aggressiveness led to 15 free throw attempts, with the team sinking 10 of them.
- Balogun paced seven Duke scorers during the quarter with seven of the team’s 23 points. The Blue Devils assisted on four of their six field goals in the third quarter – all four dimes coming via redshirt junior Jordyn Oliver.
- At the end of the third, Duke’s lead stood at 63-38.
- Texas A&M netted 14 of the 22 points in final period as it attempted to make a late rally. The Aggies’ efforts were to no avail as Duke locked down the 19-point win.
- Duke moves to 4-0 on the season, marking the second straight season starting off with four consecutive wins. The last time Duke started 4-0 in back-to-back years was the 2013-14 and 2014-15 campaign.
- Four players notched double-figure scoring efforts for the Blue Devils – Balogun (15), Taylor (14), Brown (11) and Richardson (10).
- Taylor notched her seventh career double-double in the win, finishing the game with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
- Duke scored 30 points off 23 Texas A&M turnovers while also holding sizeable margins in the paint (40-18), on the fastbreak (11-2) and off the bench (36-12).
Duke is back on the road this weekend, heading north for a game against Toledo Sunday, Nov. 20. Opening tip is set for 1 p.m., on ESPN+