CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami women's basketball team started ACC play with a 51-48 win over No. 14 Duke Sunday afternoon at the Watsco Center.The sixth-career double-double by senior Erykah Davenport helped Miami (11-3, 1-0 ACC) notch its second ranked win of the year and defeat the Blue Devils for the third time in six seasons after having never previously done so.
"A lot of the deal is who you play, where you play them and when you play them. We got a break in this one," Miami coach Katie Meier said. "We had Duke at home, they played Friday night and they traveled here. Both teams looked fatigued, but we just had a little bit extra, I think."
Duke (11-3, 0-1 ACC) used a 10-0 run after Miami scored the opening basket to build a 14-9 lead after one quarter of action.
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The Hurricanes went on a 7-0 run of their own during the second period to take an 18-17 edge, but the Blue Devils responded and took a 27-24 advantage into the locker room.
Miami held redshirt senior guard Lexie Brown, the ACC's leading scorer, to just four points on 1-of-5 shooting in the first half.
Davenport dominated the third session and locked up her fourth double-double this season. The forward/center from Decatur, Ga., helped Miami regain the lead, 39-38, entering the final frame.
The Blue Devils tied the score four times in the fourth quarter, but never took the lead. After Duke evened the game at 45 with 4:35 to play, Miami scored five straight points. A 3-pointer by Brown ended a four-minute scoring drought for Duke with 28 seconds left and trimmed the deficit to two.
The scene from another Top 25 takedown at the Watsco Center! pic.twitter.com/hRviHFRV3T— Canes Women's BBall (@CanesWBB) December 31, 2017
After redshirt senior guard/forward Shaneese Bailey made one of two free throws with 22.9 seconds on the clock, Miami got a stop on Duke's final possession to earn the victory.
Davenport finished with 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, her second-most in an ACC game in her career. Bailey co-led Miami with 13 points, tied for her third-most as a Hurricane. The two senior starters combined for greater than 50 percent of Miami's scoring output in the win.
"They're strong, they are super individuals and they've been leading," Meier said of the duo. "It was apparent that our freshmen were getting a little bit like deer in the headlights, which is expected. Duke is huge and [therefore] their vision was gone, so your [bigger] players were going to impact the game more than your little ones. We called a little bit more for them and got them freed up."
Duke redshirt sophomore guard Haley Gorecki paced all scorers with 16 points, while sophomore forward Leaonna Odom added 12.
Brown, averaging 21.2 points and coming off five straight 20-point outings, totaled a season-low 10 on 3-of-12 shooting. Senior guard Rebecca Greenwell, a fellow preseason All-American, finished with a season-low four points on 2-of-8 shooting.
Miami forced 22 turnovers by the Blue Devils and limited them to 19-of-55 shooting (34.5 percent) from the field, including 3-of-16 (18.8 percent) from beyond the arc. The Blue Devils tallied just one point from their bench.
Current mood. pic.twitter.com/pptbCkF8Mi— Canes Women's BBall (@CanesWBB) December 31, 2017
"When I was watching film, preparing for the game, I thought, 'Oh, this works,' and I looked at the personnel. It was Laura [Cornelius], Khaila [Prather], Jessica [Thomas], [Adrienne] Motley and Keyona [Hayes]," Meier said of playing with a different roster this year against a similar Duke team.
"I thought, 'Is that going to work with this group?' I showed them all that, but I don't know that they really understood offensively what they needed to do. I think that's as tough as we've played Duke."