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Notre Dame puts the Duke(s) up

The Blue Devils had the lead. Notre Dame took the game.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Duke at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

South Bend, IN — The Duke Blue Devils came out of the gates red-hot. A 24 point first quarter appeared to be a harbinger of further offensive success, and the holding of a powerful Irish team to just 17 points also spoke well of their chances. This was an opportunity for Duke to bust into the top ten rankings, and signal their ascendance as a legitimate championship contender.

But, things did not turn out that way. After that 24 point burst, the Blue Devils laid three consecutive eggs, scoring 11, 11, and 12 points, respectively, in the second, third, and fourth quarters. Notre Dame did not fair much better; after scoring 17 in the first, they would hit the heights of 18, 15, and then 12.

Their ferocious defense (32nd in the nation in points per possession with .804), grabbed Duke by the ankles and shook them until change fell out. Duke, for their part, also played tremendous defense, but could not muster enough firepower to hold their early lead.

The Blue Devils were led in scoring by junior guard Lexie Brown, who had 22 points on 4-9 from beyond the arc and 2-2 from the charity stripe. Second in scoring was Leaonna Odom, a freshman forward, who had 12 on 5-8 shooting while also grabbing seven boards. Rebecca Greenwall, junior guard, had 11, and was the only other Duke player with double-digit scoring numbers.

Notre Dame was lead in scoring by Brianna Turner, who had 25 on 9-15 shooting from the field, while also grabbing 12 rebounds. She was the only person in double figures for the Fighting Irish, which would usually spell disaster, but because eight of the nine other Notre Dame player scored at least two points, they were able to win.

Notre Dame moves to 19-3, and takes on the University of Virginia at home on the 29th of January, while the Blue Devils fall to 17-4, and take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on the same day.