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Vanessa De Jesus experiences first loss in Duke


Duke University suffered its first loss of the season, falling to a 49-73 rout at the hands of ACC rivals Louisville, Thursday morning (Manila time) at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Vanessa De Jesus had 11 points, three rebounds, and two assists in the contest, but shot just 4-of-12 from the field while committing two errors. She was a minus-16 on the floor.

“That’s obviously what they do, pressure the ball, and so that’s something we worked a couple of days leading in just with all our guards. All of our guards need to keep growing in that area, handling the pressure better,” said Duke head coach Kara Lawson, as Louisville forced her team to commit 18 turnovers.

After entering the contest hitting 57.1 percent from the field in the first quarter, the Blue Devils struggled out of the gate. Duke made only 6-of-21 field goals for 28.6 percent and trailed 21-12 through 10 minutes.

Duke made a run in the second and cut the Cardinals’ lead to 24-20 on a layup by junior Onome Akinbode-James. Louisville, though, was able to answer right back with a 6-0 spurt.

Led by De Jesus, the Blue Devils went on a, 7-2, run in the third quarter. De Jesus scoring five straight points, including Duke’s first three-pointer of the contest at the 7:02 mark. With 10 minutes remaining, the Blue Devils trailed 49-36.

The Cardinals then went on a blistering 24-point final frame to seal the deal.

Duke dropped to 3-1 on the season, while Louisville improved to 5-0.

For the contest, Duke hit a season-low 36.1 percent from the field and made only 1-of-16 three-point field goals.

#ReadMore  De Jesus tallies 10 rebs in Duke's non-conference play closer

Jade Williams led the Blue Devils on the night with a season-high 13 points, nine rebounds, and three blocked shots. Meanwhile, Onome Akinbode-James hauled 10 boards.

“I thought our group competed hard tonight, especially through the first three quarters. We just didn’t shoot it well, [but] we got great looks, I thought. We missed a ton of easy ones – layups and open threes, shots that we had been making. I also have to credit Louisville and what they did defensively. For us, 49 points is not going to win you many games,” said Lawson.

“Needed to score a little bit more, certainly against a high-powered offense like them. That’s a part of it; you’re going to have nights like this, it just happens. But I was proud of our group and how they competed.”

Dana Evans led the Cardinals with 24 points and three steals. Hailey Van Lith and Kianna Smith added 14 and 15, respectively, while Olivia Cochran finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Duke will next travel to Coral Gables, Florida, to face Miami on Monday (Manila time).

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